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Treasures, Princely Taste

London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

engraved, embossed, chased, cast and fitted with strapwork, monsters, putti, maidens and
female masks, on heraldic stem of a bird of prey (the device of the Skovgaard arms)
repeated three times above three engraved tortoises and scalework on the foot, and with
finial supporting the engraved marriage shields of Skovgaard and Parsberg, later engraved
on the underside Marten Nermand Anna Erats Datter 1682, maker’s mark AE only struck
24cm, 9 1/2 in high
769gr, 24oz 14dwt

ESTIMATE 60,000-90,000 GBP

Made circa 1574, probably for the marriage of Hans Skovgaard and Anne Parsberg, celebrated at the Royal palace in
Copenhagen in 1574
Hans Skovgaard, minister to King Frederick II, retired to Gunderstrup in Skåne, died in 1580
Anne Parsberg, married secondly Hak Ulfstand in 1590
The cup most probably descended via a daughter also called Anne from the Skovsgaard/Parsberg union who married
Holger Ulfstand and inherited the Gunderstrup property, as follows:
Circa 1620 Holger Ulfstand relinquished goods and chattels to his daughter Ingeborg’s husband Admiral Jørgen Wind
Holger Wind, son of Jørgen Wind and Ingeborg Ulfstand, sold the chattels to his brother-in-law Kristoffer Giede who
remained in Skåne when it was ceded to Sweden at the treaty of Roskilde in 1658.
1682, the cup had left the family and came into the possession of Mårten Davidsson Nerman (died 1695), a merchant
or landowner from Malmö, and his wife Anna Erhardsdotter (died 1696), who were married in 1668. Their daughter
Anna Katarina Nerman (1668-1710) married Severin Lorich (1664-1703), also of Malmö, whose son David Lorich
(1691-1733) married Katarina Farnow by whom he had a son, Christian Lorich (1724-1807). The latter married
Elisabeth Cathrina Pflucht (1728-1799); their children were Helena Lorich (1767-1819) and Casper Wilhelm Lorich
(1769-1812), both of whom were married and had children of their own.
1826 to present day, recorded as property of the Freemasons of Gothenburg, thought to have been gifted circa 1822
following a fire which devastated the Freemasons’ lodge in March 1820

Since 1958, Röhsska Konstslöjdmuseets, Gothenburg

Goran Axel-Nilsson and Anton Anderberg, Hans Skovgaards och Anne Parsbergs pokal, Röhsska Konstslöjdmuseets
Årstryck, Gothenburg, 1959, pp. 45-72
Sigurd Schoubye, `Renæssanceguldsmeden AE’, in Kunst og antikvitets årbogen, Thaning & Appels Forlag,
Copenhagen, 1970, pp. 89-103
Poul Grinder-Hansen, ‘Aspects of gift giving in Denmark in the sixteenth century and the case of the Rose Flower
Cup,’ Journal of Medieval History, 2011, 37:1, 114-124 (electronic resource)

The arms are those of Skovgaard and Parsberg for Hans Skovgaard and Anne Parsberg, who were married on 10
January 1574.
The present cup and cover and its long-separated companion cup now lacking its cover (the latter now in Kävlinge
Church, Skåne, South Sweden, see Fig. 2, left), were first studied by Göran Axel-Nilsson and Anton Anderberg in their
1959 monograph, Hans Skovgaards och Anne Parsbergs Pokal. More recently, in 2011, Poul Grinder-Hansen, curator
of the Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance collections at The National Museum of Denmark, in his article ‘Aspects of
gift giving in Denmark in the sixteenth century and the case of the Rose Flower Cup,’ has come to much the same
conclusion, that, ‘There can be little doubt that the two cups were gifts for [Hans Skovgaard and Anne Parsberg’s]
wedding in 1574.’ Dr Grinder-Hansen furthermore suggests that, ‘the cups may be a wedding gift from King Frederik II
[of Denmark].’
This theory is compelling for several reasons; not least that Skovgaard (1526-1580) was for many years a trusted
advisor to Frederik II. Educated in Germany, he returned to Denmark in 1548 to take up a royal post. He was
subsequently appointed first secretary of the Danish Chancellery (responsible for home affairs), one of the two
principal administrative organs of government, sometime after Frederik’s accession to the throne in 1559. This
important post required almost daily audiences with the king.
In spite of a number of conflicts at this time, dominated by the Scandinavian Seven Years’ War (1563-1570), Denmark
enjoyed an unprecedented period of growth and prosperity. Much of this was due to the income derived from the tolls
levied on maritime traffic passing in and out of the Baltic Sea, the main passage being the Øresund running between
the island of Sjælland (Zealand) and the Scanian coastline (now south Sweden). The town of Helsingør on Sjælland,
where ships were obliged to register, stood opposite Helsingborg, close to Hans Skovgaard’s castle of Gunnarstorp
(now Vrams Grunnarstorp) on the mainland. Helsingør was also the site of Kronborg Castle (immortalized as Elsinore
by Shakespeare in Hamlet), which Frederik rebuilt on a lavish scale between 1574 and 1585.
Much to the King’s disappointment, Skovgaard chose this moment, 1573, to resign and in January the following year
he married Anne Parsberg. Not only was Frederick guest of honour at the nuptials, which took place at Copenhagen
Castle, but he was also the couple’s host. Later Frederik was present at the baptism of their first son, also Frederik
(1576-1606), to whom the King stood sponsor.
Shortly after these events, Frederik himself was presented by his Queen (Sophia of Mecklenburg-Güstrow) with his
first son, Christian (1577-1648), who succeeded him as Christian IV in 1588. According to Dr Grinder-Hansen, Hans
Skovgaard was one of the prince’s godfathers, and with his wife Anne, who hung the tapestries in an official capacity
for the christening, presented the Queen, on the prince’s behalf with a large silver communal drinking cup. Known as
the `Rosenblommen’ (Rose flower cup) this remarkable vessel has survived to this day as the only remaining gift of
the godfathers, and one of Denmark’s great treasures of the 16th Century (now in The Danish National Museum).
The Rose Cup is in the form of a generous barrel with handles for communal drinking. As befits such an important gift,
its decoration is rich in symbolism: the scenes of hunting allude to the King himself, an enthusiastic huntsman and by
nature generous; the red and white rose signifies the union of the sun and the moon giving birth to the philosophical
child. The medal on the interior of the cover, depicting David playing before King Saul, can be read as a reference to
the recipient (Frederik) and the giver (Skovgaard).
Similarly the Skovgaard/Parsberg cup can be seen to refer to both giver and receiver. Commentators have found in
the tortoises and their shells, engraved on the base a playful reference from Aesop’s fables to Skovgaard and his
estate; but, furthermore, the tortoise refused to attend the wedding of Zeus, king of all the gods. The solid ship’s
hawser, held by the male figure finial, like a staff of office, can be interpreted as a combined reference to Skovgaard
and his solid achievements, to the kingdom which derived its wealth from shipping tolls and ultimately to the King
himself, who held sovereignty, accepted by England and France over `His Royal Majesty’s Seas’ (Palle Lauring,
translated by David Hohnen, A History of the Kingdom of Denmark, Copenhagen, 1960, p. 150)
Significantly, the cup in this present lot, together with its companion in Kävlinge Church, as well as The Rose Cup all
bear the maker’s mark AE conjoined, with slight variations . This has been cautiously attributed to Aelisaeus
Englander, the Danish Royal Goldsmith and armour maker (Plattenschlager) who was active between 1566 and 1572
and possibly later, recorded in the treasury account book. cf. Sigurd Schoubye, “Renaessanceguldsmeden AE”,
Kunst og Antikvitets Årbogen 1970, pp 89-102

Fig. 1

Melchior Lorck, Portrait of Federik II, King of Denmark and Norway

Fig. 2

The Skovgaard/Parsberg marriage cups, circa 1574

Fig. 3


Fig. 4

A memorial stone of Hans Skovgaard and Anne Parsberg and their

children in the Norra Vrams churk, Skane, Sweden, circa 1580

Fig. 5

Artist unknown, Portrait of Anne Skovgaard (1574-1645)

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

4¼-inch principal dial with silvered chapter ring numbered I-XII twice and enclosing an
astrolabe with named stars and zodiac ring, engraved reversible typanum for latitudes 45
and 48 degrees, dragon hand, two small subsidiary dials above for twelve/twenty four hour
striking and regulation, the lower corners with larger dials for Dominical letter and Epact
number and alarm setting and indication, the opposite side with 4¾-inch reversible
calendar ring engraved with saints for every day of the year and enclosing a minute ring ,
hour dial engraved I-IIX twice and, at the centre, shutters indicating day length hand-set
subsidiary dials to the upper corners, on the lower corners dials for day of the week and
position of the sun within the zodiac, the sides with dials recording the hour and quarter
striking, all subsidiary dials silvered and with polychrome enamel decoration, the gilt-brass
posted three train fusee movement with re-instated verge and balance wheel escapement,
striking on two bells and with alarm acting on the larger bell, a further later striking train
mounted within the base, the case surmounted by an eagle, obelisk and turned finials
above a pierced gallery containing the bells, the front and sides with foliate decoration
above hunting scenes, the interior with the Augsburg pineapple mark to both sides, the
moulded flared base with later turned feet
50cm. 19¾in. high

ESTIMATE 120,000-180,000 GBP

Emil Weinberger, Vienna (his sale: Wawra, Vienna, 1929);
A.S. Drey, Munich (acquired at the above sale; their forced sale: Paul Graupe, Berlin, 17th-18th June 1936, lot 187,
illustrated in the catalogue);
Dr. Eugen Gschwind, Basel;
Joseph Fremersdorf, Lucerne;
Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart (acquired from the above in 1973);
Restituted to the A.S. Drey heirs in 2012

Ernst von Basserman-Jordan, The Book of Old Clocks and Watches, 1964, Pg. 82, Fig.54
Richard Mühe & Horand M Vogel, Alte Uhren, pg. 58
Klaus Maurice, Die Deutsche Räderuhr, Part II, Item 194 a & b
Andrea Schaller, Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart, Prunkuhren der Renaissance, Item 8, pgs.43-45

The European portable clock was not invented but developed as a progression from late medieval weight-driven
domestic wall clocks. Likewise, the art of clockmaking developed from other trades such as that of blacksmith and
locksmith and, in the sixteenth Century was finally recognised as a craft in its own right. The creation of clockmaking
guilds in South Germany protected the interests of clockmakers and drove the quality of workmanship to hitherto
unseen levels of finesse.
Whilst the region encompassing Vienna in the east to Munich and Nuremburg in the west dominated domestic
clockmaking in the sixteenth Century, the town of Augsburg itself dominated that region. The Augsburg Clockmakers'
Guild strictly controlled the making of clocks and the makers themselves. Demanding the creation of a complicated
masterpiece before a permission to work independently was granted, the Guild inadvertently created a market for
clocks which were both highly complicated but also highly decorative.
This clock, though unsigned, is a particularly fine example and includes all of the qualities required for a masterpiece
clock in both complications and decoration. The attention to detail in the decorative steelwork within the
movement, seen only by those accessing the interior of the case, is just one example of the supreme level of
craftsmanship achieved at this early date. Examples of clocks with very similar cases can be seen in the Science
Museum, London and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

CIRCA 1540
the centre with an istoriato medallion of Venus attended by Cupid in a rocky bower, within
a broad bianco-sopra-bianco band of a quartieri scrollwork and foliage, the rim with a
brilliant blue band of tight oak meander
44.7cm, 17 1/2 in diameter

ESTIMATE 120,000-180,000 GBP

Collection J.G.R, Strasburg
Christie's Milan, 8th June 2004, lot 439
Private European Collection

M. Bellini and G. Conti, Maioliche Italiane del Rinascimento, Milano, 1964, p.120.

The dish is particularly rare, both for its sheer size and for its ambitious bianco-sopra-bianco. Bianco sopra bianco is
a technique of ornament in brilliant white against a slightly off-white tin glaze. Capable of very fine detail, it is not clear
where and when it was first developed, but it is traditionally thought to have been developed at Faenza at the
beginning of the 16th century, and then adopted at Castel Durante, Siena and Deruta. The small town of Castel
Durante, close to Faenza, was to become an important production centre of maiolica, and the traditional attribution of
the finest extant pieces has been to this town.
The latest research, however, together with excavations of several fragments, shows that as many were produced in
Urbino as were in Castel Durante1. Furthermore, this very frieze corresponds closely with Piccolpasso’s drawing of
sopra biancho which he describes as uso urbinato (see detail). Moreover, while the majority of the recorded pieces
are centred with a stemma or a portrait, the present lot is painted with an istoriato scene of Venus and Cupid that
Timothy Wilson associated with the work of the Urbino “painted of the so-called Della Rovere dishes”, see. T. Wilson,
Italian Maiolica of the Renaissance, no.142, p.350 and Johanna Lessmann, Italienische Majolika, Braunschweig,
1979, no. 311.
Several dishes with similar oak rim are known in public collections as follows: five dishes are recorded in the French
national museums2 and one in the British Museum3. Two are in privates collections4, one without bianco sopra
bianco decoration, and recently one sold at Sotheby’s London, 6 December 2011, lot 18. A dish with a thicker border
but similar bianco sopra bianco decoration is illustrated by Giuliana Gardelli, Italika, Faenza, 1999, n. 99, pp.214, 215.

1. See for example the armorial dish with the flaying of Marsyas painted by Nicola da Urbino on the rim and centre,
the well with bianco sopra bianco, now in the Getty Museum (inv. 84.DE.117).
2. Jeanne Giacomotti, Catalogue des Majoliques des Musées Nationaux, 1974, nos.779-783
3. D.Thornton and T.Wilson, Italian Renaissance Ceramics, British Museum, 2009, pp.377-8, fig.223
4. T. Wilson, Italian Maiolica of the Renaissance, no.142, p.350. A similar dish in the Heinz Kuckei collection, Berlin, is
illustrated by T.Hausmann, Floritura, Berlin, 2002, pp.180-1, no.71

Fig. 1

Cipriano Piccolpasso (1524-79), drawing of Sopra Bianchi and

Quartiere from Li tre libri dell’arte del vasaio, 1556-1559 © Victoria
and Albert Museum, London / V&A Images
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

2½-inch principal silver dial with single hand and central alarm disc, below a moon dial with
outer lunar calendar, all set on a fruit-cast surround above a concealed winding aperture
above a further aperture for the signs of the zodiac with hidden setting square, the reverse
with strike recording dial below a further lunar dial, concealed winding square and aperture
for ruling deity, the movement with elaborate gilt-steel posts, open springs with engraved
gilt guards, verge and balance escapement with engraved gilt regulation, striking the hours
on a bell and passing strike for the half on a further bell, key wound alarm to the side, the
case surmounted by Minerva above finely pierced dome and balustrade, the sides very
finely cast and chased with warriors and mythical creatures within strapwork panels, the
whole raised on dragon feet
36.5cm. 14¼in. high

ESTIMATE 30,000-50,000 GBP

The movement of this clock with its gilt-steel pillars and finely turned steel posts is less complicated than the German
masterpiece clocks of late 16th and early 17th Centuries. However, it is the case of this clock which is the true
masterpiece. The crispness of the casting and chasing is extremely fine and close inspection reveals even further
This clock is not typical of the work of the better-known Augsburg clockmakers and appears to have more similarities
with North German and Danish work of the late 16th Century. An engraving of a similarly detailed clock by Steffen
Brenner of Copenhagen and dated 1579 is illustrated in Die Deutsche Raderuhr by Klaus Maurice, fig.224 although in
that case the iconography is markedly more serene.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

3¾-inch gilt principal dial with zodiacal and monthly calendars, hours 1 - 12 twice and
central lunar indications, a bracket below initialled I*H, the sides with hour and quarter
recording dials, the four train fusee movement with pinned lipped barrels, verge and foliot
escapement and striking the hours and quarters on two top-mounted bells, the fourth train
driving a 6-inch re-programmable pinned disc mounted within the plinth and playing a tune
on eight bells, the case with four silvered doors engraved with strapwork and mythical
beasts, the front with two roundels the first engraved with the a crowned double-headed
eagle and the second with an eagle with an 'M' on the breast, the rear engraved with Saint
Peter and Saint Paul, the gilt frame surmounted by four probably later classical female
figure finials flanking rock crystal and agate mounts and pilasters decorated with vases of
stylised flowers, masks and scrolls, the plinth base with four gilt roundels engraved with
Biblical scenes depicting The Baptism of Christ, The Good Samaritan, The Last Supper and
The Crucifixion, each on a ground of naturistically cold painted leaf and bird fretwork, the
front and rear roundels flanked by stylised dolphins, the moulded base with four hunting
46cm. 18in. high

ESTIMATE 60,000-80,000 GBP


This extraordinary musical clock appears to be previously un-recorded and is possibly the earliest re-programmable
disc musical movement extant. Musical clocks from the renaissance period are rare and usual method of producing
the music is by pinned barrel and carillon, as in municipal tower clocks of the period. Pinned discs are occasionally
used for the activation of automata but not for music and particularly not in re-programmable format. The fact that the
disc and bells are concealed within the base of the case has possibly meant that this innovative idea was not seen
and pursued by others until the 19th Century.
The form of this clock is not typical of those made in the Augsburg area of Germany and, as yet, it has not been
possible to identify a definite maker or specific area. The arms to the front door are of the Holy Roman Empire and
also possibly the town of Mosbach, Germany. The architectural form of the case is reminiscent of some early clocks
from Strasbourg and Nuremburg and a weight-driven clock with engraved silvered panels is in the collection of the
Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart, tentatively attributed to Nuremburg.
The technical innovation of the musical movement is clearly highly important but the quality of the decoration to the
case is astonishingly high and combines religious themes with the more wordly pursuit of hunting and an astute
observation of natural history. The initials I*H concealed by the front panel are intriguing and, having arrived at an
approximate date and area of manufacture, it is tempting to consider if this might possibly be an unknown work by a
member of the Habrecht family of clockmakers.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

3¾-inch principal dial with outer minute track calibrated in three-minute intervals and
quarters, the hour ring numbered I-XII twice, set on foliate engraved plate with date
aperture, and subsidiary dials for alarm and signs of the zodiac, the other side with a 4¼-
inch reversible calendar dial (originally one of three), engraved with month and
corresponding zodiacal sign, saints' days, date, Dominical letter and Roman calendar, set
on a similarly engraved plate, the left side with an hours recording dial (lacking hand), the
right side with quarters recording dial (lacking hand) and opening to reveal a sundial with
compass, the inner panel engraved with cities and their latitudes and signed Hans
Gasteiger, Anno Domini 1562, the posted iron three train fusee movement with lipped and
pinned barrels, verge escapement with later conversion to pendulum, quarters train with
later brass wheels, quarter strtiking on two top-mounted bells, all calendar driving wheels
lacking, the richly gilded case signed along the shaped bottom plate
MASTER*HANS*GASTEIGER*URMACHER*ZU*MUNCHEN and dated to the side 1563, the
finely pierced basket top surmounted by a dancing putto and with dolphin corners, richly
cast and chased mask and foliage corner pilasters, raised on pad feet
28.5cm. 11¼in. high

ESTIMATE 150,000-250,000 GBP

Collection Dr. Alfred Pringsheim
Confiscated by the Gestapo in 1938
Central Collecting Point Munich (Mü 36866) on 8.09.1946
Collecting Point Wiesbaden 29.05.1949
Restituted to the heirs of Dr. Alfred Pringsheim on June 19, 1951
Private collection

Klaus Maurice, Die Deutsche Raderuhr, Vol.2, Pg. 29, fig.153.

Hans Gasteiger is recorded as working in Munich and Vienna between 1545 and 1578.

Astronomical table clocks of this form are commonly known as Metzger-type after the Augsburg clockmaker Jeremias
Metzger who made a number of such clocks during the 1560's. The style became popular with master clockmakers in
South Germany and Vienna but appears to have fallen out of favour within ten years. Always highly prized and
expensive to make, surviving original examples are mostly held in public collections and rarely appear for sale.

Clocks of this complexity were, even at their date of manufacture, rare and important examples of the mechanical arts.
The combination of mathematical and practical skills of their German makers exceeded the abilities of crafstmen in
any other country. They may be regarded as a demonstration of the intellectual ability of their makers following on
from the demands of their patrons who sought the novelty of a mechanical aide-memoire for religious purposes. The
inclusion of the sundial was essential to the use of the clock which, by reason of indifferent timekeeping, needed daily
correction against the sun.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303


rock crystal, with possibly French, late 16th/ early 17th century gilt copper mounts
14.3cm., 5 5/8 in. overall.

ESTIMATE 150,000-300,000 GBP

with Heinz Jürgen Heuser, Hamburg, 1962

H. Burns, M. Collareta and D. Gasparotto, Valerio Belli Vicentino (1468c-1546), Vicenza, 2000, no. 25 (there identified
as possibly being a work by Valerio Belli)

This superb rock crystal vessel compares with some of the finest hardstone carvings of the first half of the 16th
century. The presence of portraits of Pope Clement VII and Alessandro de’ Medici, indicate that it was an important
commission, celebrating the close relationship between two powerful members of the Medici dynasty: a lost treasure
from the Italian High Renaissance.

The Carving

The mannerist ornamentation, which covers the surface of the present vessel, is close to the work of Giovanni
Bernardi (1494-1553), the celebrated gem-cutter and rock crystal engraver to the ducal Este and Medici courts, and to
Pope Clement VII. Note the similar scrolling vegetal forms terminating in volutes, adorned with dot patterns, and
interspersed with exotic birds and mythical creatures, on a series of rock crystal panels in the Museo Nazionale di
Capodimonte, Naples, which are attributed to Bernardi (Cassani, op. cit., nos. 6.3-6.68). As with the present vessel,
these panels have been carved using the intaglio technique (explained below). The hanging drapes find a conceptual
parallel in the garlands of fruit and flowers appearing on another of the panels from Capodimonte (Cassani, op. cit.,
no. 6.41). The portrait profile medallions of Clement VII and Alessandro de’ Medici should be compared with
Bernardi’s rock crystal panels with the Apostles also at Capodimonte (Cassani, op. cit., no. 6.1). Observe the same
excellent clarity of the carving. The oval medallions, encircled with dots, are very similar to those appearing
prominently on a rock crystal dish by Bernardi in the Museo degli Argenti at the Palazzo Pitti, Florence (inv. no. Bg.
1917 (III) no. 13). The affinities with Bernardi’s oeuvre place the present vessel firmly within his circle, and confirm that
it is the work of a master working in the same virtuoso tradition.

The Rock crystal

The body, lid and underside of this vessel were carved from a mineral formed from silicon and oxygen known as
quartz. Here, the mineral appears transparent and colourless, a type referred to as pure quartz or, more commonly,
rock crystal. In the right conditions, pure quartz crystals can grow up to one metre in length and the material forms
with a hexagonal cross-section.
For the body of the present lot, the lapidary used hexagonal rock crystal of which the basic shape was possibly
retained to emphasise its origin. The lapidary has left the body very thin in order for the material to appear clear and
light in weight. Hollowing the raw material out like this was a delicate operation requiring great skill. It is likely that the
cylindrical opening was made into the crystal by boring into it using a hand drill, which needed to be constantly
lubricated by a course mixture of water and sand in order to penetrate properly. Following drilling, the shape was
ground down further with an abrasive like emery or corundum, creating the sharp angles and level surfaces that
characterise the present vessel. The delicate foliate decoration, coats of arms and portraits were then engraved
intaglio into the surface with burin-like tools and cutters. During the hollowing out and engraving of the surface, the
lapidary had to be particularly careful so as not to crack the fragile crystal. Lastly, the object was polished throughout
with wooden or leather tools and a softer abrasive in order to create its glass-like translucency. Much like the
hexagonal shape of the body of the vessel, the rock crystal lid was possibly carved with facets to mimic natural quartz
formations, which terminate in a similar way.

Rock crystal has been carved since Prehistoric times. Ornaments made from the mineral appear regularly at
excavations at Neolithic sites around the world. Quartz also features in most early treatises on geology, such as Jin Ni
Zi (China, 4th-century BCE) and Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia (Roman, 1st century CE). The latter’s opinion was
that the material was petrified ice, which had become permanently frozen over many centuries. The production of rock
crystal vessels flourished in the Western world from the 9th century onwards when it became a staple material used
for Christian liturgical objects. Christians associated the purity and clarity of the quartz with the chastity and
conscientiousness of their saints and therefore employed the material in objects used during the mass and
reliquaries. Roughly around the same time, rock crystal objects became highly prized possessions of the Muslim
Fatimid civilisation, which undoubtedly traded the material intensively with Europeans. A contemporary account
mentions some 36,000 items of rock crystal and cut glass in the treasuries of Cairo.

As the centuries progressed, rock crystal was worked with increasing cunning and complexity in Europe. During most
of this development, the stone-cutter was entirely subservient to the goldsmith. But the rediscovery of the ancient
lapidaries and the hunger for ever more opulent gems for the ruling classes cultivated the art form's finest hour. By the
second quarter of the 16th century, the lapidaries’ position was reversed and caused schools to flourish first in Milan
and Florence, and later in cities such as Prague and Freiburg. The three most impressive collections of rock crystal
carvings still intact today -the Florentine Grand-Ducal collection at the Palazzo Pitti, the collection of the Habsburgs in
the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the Wittelsbach collection in Munich- were all formed by important
noblemen at this time. They contain several reappropriated crystals, but chiefly consist of carvings commissioned from
the main gem-cutters active in the 16th century: Annibale Fontana, the Sarracchi, the Miseroni, Giovanni Ambrosio,
Valerio Belli and Giovanni Bernardi. Their work is characterised by a command over the material that leads to an
enormous array of shapes and the fanciful engraving that is also seen on the present vessel.

The Portrait Medallions: The Sitters

The portrait roundels carved into the present vessel are close to known 16th-century medals and hardstone carvings
with representations of Pope Clement VII and Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence. In 1534, Giovanni Bernardi
and Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) engaged in a competition to create the archetypal portrait medal of Clement VII.
Cellini’s portrait of Clement is, in fact, very close to that appearing on the present vessel; note the similar domed head
and beard with ringlets (fig. 1). Images of Alessandro de’ Medici were, perhaps unsurprisingly, less widely circulated
than those of the Pope, with some of the finest being carved in precious materials. The present portrait of Alessandro
can be compared with a chalcedony and gold pendant in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (inv. no. CIS 7553-
1861), in which Alessandro is also represented with a prominent nose and hair curling tightly to his scalp (see fig. 2).
Another relevant comparison is found in the chalcedony portrait of Alessandro by Domenico di Polo (1480-c.1547) in
the Museo degli Argenti, Florence (inv. no. GFSSPMF 205069). Cellini also modelled a portrait medal of Alessandro,
which has a similar arrangement of clothing to that seen in the present vessel, a silver cast is in the Museo Nazionale
del Bargello, Florence (see Chong, Pegazzano and Zikos, op. cit., p. 152, fig. 77).

Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, Pope Clement VII (1478-1534) is remembered for being the Pope who fled to the safety
of the Castel Sant’Angelo during the Sack of Rome of 1527 and for presiding over the divorce proceedings between
Henry VIII of England (1491-1547) and Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536), which resulted in the English Reformation.
Born in Florence, in 1478, he was the nephew of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and was a cousin of Pope Leo X (1475-
1521). When Leo ascended to the Papacy in 1513, Giulio di Giuliano was swiftly appointed Archbishop of Florence
and was made a Cardinal. He established himself as one of the most powerful figures in the Church and, following the
death of Adrian VI (1459-1523) in 1523, was elected Pope, styling himself Clement VIII.

Clement held the papacy during a particularly turbulent period in the life of the Church. Only six years prior to his
election as Pope, Martin Luther (1483-1546) had nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saint’s Church in
Wittenberg, sparking the beginnings of the greatest crisis to engulf the Roman Church in its history, the Reformation.
Clement, although highly intelligent, was a weak leader, whose actions caused events to spiral beyond his control. His
lack of diplomatic foresight in repeatedly changing allegiances between the opposing powers of the Holy Roman
Empire and France led to the Sack of Rome of 1527. This humiliation resulted him being placed under the control of
Charles V, the nephew of Catherine of Aragon. When Henry VIII requested that his marriage to Catherine be annulled
in 1527, Clement, fearing Charles’ wrath, procrastinated. His patience wearing thin, Henry ordered his marriage to be
annulled, and, in late 1532/ early 1533, he married his mistress Anne Boleyn (c. 1501-1536). Clement responded by
excommunicating both Henry and his Archbishop, Thomas Cramner (1489-1556), but it was too late. By 1534, the
Act of Supremacy had been passed establishing an independent Church of England with Henry at its head; the
English Reformation had begun.

Whilst Clement was a poor diplomat and politician, he was an important patron of the arts. One of his last acts as
Pope was to commission Michelangelo to paint the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.

Alessandro de’ Medici (1511-1537) was the first hereditary Duke of Florence. He was known by contemporaries as Il
Moro, The Moor, because of his mixed race heritage – his mother is recorded as having been a sub-Saharan African
named Simonetta da Collavecchio, who is thought to have worked in service and was possibly a slave. Officially,
Alessandro was the illegitimate son of Lorenzo II de’ Medici (1492-1519), grandson of Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-
1492). However, today, it is believed that his real father was the seventeen year old Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici, the
future Pope Clement VII, whose portrait also appears on the present vessel.

Surprisingly little has been written about Alessandro. Less still has been said about his parentage, probably due to
discomfort felt by past historians, who wished to ignore his African heritage and his possible status as the illegitimate
son of a Pope. Contemporaries appear not to have been concerned with Alessandro’s race, however. Like many
absolute rulers of the period, he had scores of enemies. Rather than chastising him for his skin colour, though, they
insulted him for being the son of a peasant. Class was clearly more important in Florentine society than race. This is,
perhaps, unsurprising, given that many Africans were brought to Italy to work in aristocratic households, where they
were welcomed as exotic additions and prized as symbols of wealth and prestige. The 16th- and 17th-century
fascination with Africans is manifested by the numerous busts of Moors carved in expensive materials, such as those
by Nicolas Cordier (1567-1612)(see the superb example in the Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden: inv. no. Hm2 187a).

Alessandro de’ Medici was installed as Duke of Florence by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500-1558) in 1530,
following the defeat and absolution of the Florentine Republic. Charles clearly regarded Alessandro as an important
political ally, betrothing his daughter Margaret of Austria (1522-1586) to him in 1527. Alessandro was known as a
relatively informal leader, and was praised for his generosity and for his concern for the poor. His life came to a brutal
end in 1537, when he was murdered by his cousin Lorenzino de’ Medici (1514-1548), who was referred to as
Lorenzaccio, ‘Bad Lorenzo’, for his unfortunate habit of vandalising statues. Lorenzino, who had claimed that he
wished to restore the Florentine Republic, was tracked down by Alessandro’s successor Cosimo I de’ Medici and
executed in 1548.

The Commission

The presence of portraits of Clement VII and Alessandro de’ Medici, together with their respective coats of arms,
strongly indicates that the vessel was commissioned either by one of these individuals, or by someone close to them.
In the absence of documentary evidence, it is impossible to be exactly sure of the patron’s identity. However, what is
clear, is that the person must have been immensely wealthy and at the top of society; such objects were the preserve
of princes, dukes and Popes.

There are three likely scenarios for the commission of the present vessel. As has been outlined above, Clement VII
and Alessandro de’ Medici were very close, possibly even father and son. Clement had vigorously supported
Alessandro’s appointment as Duke of Florence in 1530, a development that he had seen as crucial for retaining
Medici dominance in Italian politics. It is therefore possible that the vessel would have been ordered to celebrate this
appointment and the security it afforded to the Medici dynasty. Another scenario is that it was commissioned by
Alessandro following the death of Clement in 1534, at a time when Alessandro was at the height of his power as Duke
of Florence. The vessel may have served as a commemorative piece and as a tribute from Alessandro to his natural

One final suggestion should be considered, however. Alessandro’s official sister, Catherine de Medici, Queen of
France (1519-1589), amassed an important collection of rock crystal objects, many of which are now in the Palazzo
Pitti. The most famous item from her collection is the Bowl of Diana of Poitiers by Gaspare Miseroni, dating to circa
1550 (inv. no. 1921 no. 540). Given that she was also very close to Clement VII – who had been her protector and
had presided over her marriage to the future King Henry II of France – it seems very possible that Catherine may have
commissioned the present vessel to commemorate the lives of two of her closest relatives.

H. Hahnloser and S. Brugger-Koch, Corpus des Hartsteinschliffe des 12.-15. Jahrhunderts, Berlin, 1985; S. Cassani
(ed.), Museo Gallerie Nazionale di Capodimonte. La Collezione Farnese, Naples, 1996, pp. pp. 165-176, nos. 6.1 –
6.68; A. Contadini, 'Rock Crystal: Rock Crystal Pieces in the V&A', Fatimid Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
London, 1998; D. Alcouffe, Les Gemmes de la Couronne, exh. cat. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2001, pp. 230-323; A.
Chong, D. Pegazzano and D. Zikos, Raphael, Cellini and A Renaissance Banker, exh. cat. Isabella Stewart Gardner
Museum, Boston, and Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, Boston, 2004, p. 152, figs. 76-77; M. Mosco and O.
Casazza, The Museo degli Argenti. Collections and Collectors, Florence/ Milan, 2004, pp. 70-72, fig. 9

We would like to thank Daniel Alcouffe for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Fig. 1

Benvenuto Cellini, Medal of Clement VII, 1534. Florence, Museo

Nazionale del Bargello.

Fig. 2

Cameo, Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence, possibly

Domenico di, Polo Florence, 1532-1537, Plasma (green
chalcedony) in gold setting. Victoria and Albert Museum, London,
inv. no. CIS 7553-1861
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

1855), PARIS, DATED 1853
the outer border with an alternating band of flowers and husks above a band of scrolling
rinceaux suspending fruiting swags and interposed by acanthus leaves enclosing a
roundel surmounted by an eagle atop a flaming brazier above a roundel with Alexander
Torlonia anno MDCCCLIII and two star motifs flanked by mermaids the one on the left with
a mirror, the one on the right blowing a horn suspending floral swags flanked on the right
by Amphitrite and Neptune in drapery seated in their chariot in the form of a scallopshell
drawn by winged horses with webbed feet ridden by Cupids, facing on the other side Venus
reclining in her chariot also in the form of a scallopshell drawn by four dolphins and
flanked by Cupid amongst frolicking mermaids and mermen three blowing conch shells,
the base with a ribbon-tied roundel surmounted by a princely coronet with the coat-of arms
of Princess Torlonia and Colonna flanked on the right by a merman blowing a conch shell
and on the left a merman suspending a floral swag over his left shoulder, the twisted-
ribbon border enclosing a ribbon-tied band of vines and grapes, beading and ribbon-tied
berried laurel and further beading, with a raised central boss decorated with stylised
anthemions within entwined loops enclosing a patera
diameter 70cm; 2ft. 3½in.

ESTIMATE 50,000-80,000 GBP

Prince Alexander Torlonia (1800-1886) and his wife Princess Teresa Colonna Doria (1823-1875), commissioned
for the ceremony of the completion of the draining of Lake Fucino, Rome in the presence of the Pope Pius IX in 1853.

This outstandingly chased and gilded bronze plat d’ostentation was made for Prince Alexander Torlonia (1800-1886)
and his wife Princess Teresa Colonna Doria (1823-1875) in 1853. It is by the renowned French bronzier Charles
Crozatier (1795-1855) and the only other known examples apart from the offered piece is the circular dish identical to
this one, probably the pair with the offered one, with the arms of the Torlonia and Colonna Doria dated 1853 (68.5cm
in diameter) and also a pair of ewers signed and dated CROZATIER 1846 with the same arms (each 33.5cm high),
now in the Musée Crozatier, Le Puy–en-Velay, France, reproduced here in figs. 1 and 2. They were both purchased
by the Museum from Sotheby’s, Paris, 30th October 2008, lots 169 and 170.
The dish is very much in the mannerist style with mythological references and in view of it commemorating the
draining of Lake Fucino, Rome, the symbolism is very apropriate with Neptune and Amphitrite and Venus in her
chariot drawn by winged horses.

The Torlonia Family:

The Torlonias originated from the Massif Central and had a meteoric rise in Rome during the second half of the
eighteenth century both in terms of power and wealth. Marin Tourlonias (1725-1785), was the son of a textile
merchant from central France who settled in Rome. He Italianised his name to Marino Torlonia and was a valet de
chambre at the outset of career, then became a silk and drapery merchant, finally ending up as a banker at the
Vatican. In recognition of his services, the Pope bestowed upon him the title of Marquis and Duke thereafter. He had
an enormous family comprising fifteen children. Giovanni (1755-1829), one of his sons, founded the Torlonia Princely
dynasty. He took charge of the accounts of the Bonaparte family and all the important noble Roman families. In 1797,
he purchased a villa located on via Nomentana in Rome from the Colonna family and had it restored between 1802
and 1806 by Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839), the celebrated architect and silversmith. The Pope later created
Giovanni a Marquis and then a Duke.

Giovanni organized extravagant receptions in his palace on the Piazza Venezia, (formerly Palazzo-Bolognetti-
Torlonia), which he had purchased in 1807. The Torlonias came to be considered to be the Roman Rothschilds. In
1800, Giovanni Torlonia was known to be the richest banker in Europe. In 1814, the Pope bestowed upon him the title
Prince of Civitella-Cesi and allowed him to construct a family chapel in the Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano (St John
de Latran's basilica).

In 1829, when Giovanni died, Alexander (1800-1886), his favourite son, was only a young man, however, he quickly
gained a reputation as a very astute businessman and banker in his own right. He lived in three residences in Rome:
the Piazza Venezia Palace, Villa Torlonia and the Borgo Palace purchased in 1823 on the via della Conciliazione. In
1840, he married Princess Teresa Colonna Doria (1823-1875), 23 years his junior. The various Torlonia palaces
become the venue for the most sought after invitations to glittering balls and social events, often with thousands of
guests. Alexander amassed a fine collection of works of art. Pope Pius VII called him "il padre della Patria (father of
the homeland) ". On 4th June 1842, a ceremony took place in Villa Torlonia where two obelisks were erected in
memory of Giovanni and Anna Maria Torlonia, Alexander's parents. Amongst the guests were the Pope Gregory XIV
and Ludwig, King of Bavaria. Alexander also owned three theatres in Rome. One of them was the very first venue
where Verdi presented his operas 'La Traviata' in 1853 and 'Un Ballo in Maschera' in 1859. One his most outstanding
achievements was the financing of the draining of Lake Fucino between Rome and the sea. As a result of this, he was
created Prince of Fucino by King Victor-Emmanuel II of Italy in 1875. He had a daughter, Anna Maria with his wife
Teresa Colonna. In 1870, when Anna Maria was 15 years old, her father started looking for a husband for her. The
Pope advised him to consider Giulio Borghese (1847-1914), son of Prince Marcantonio (1814-1886) and Thérèse de
la Rochefoucauld (1823-1894). The wedding took place on 24th October 1872.
Charles Crozatier (1795-1855):
He was born in Puy-en-Velay and at the age of thirteen, he was apprenticed to the celebrated silversmith Jean-
Baptiste-Claude Odiot (1763-1850). When he was eighteen he was admitted to the `Academia delle belle arti’ where
he entered the workshop of the sculptor Pierre Cartellier (1757-1831) and he became the favourite pupil of François
Joseph Bosio (1769-1845). Between 1821 and 1823, he visited Italy where he made models from antique statues. He
rapidly became one of the most famous sculptors in Europe thanks to the invention of a casting process for large
statues. In order to replace the statues destroyed during the revolution, Louis XVIII commissioned various major
sculptures from Crozatier, such as the one of Napoleon in place Vendôme in Paris, the Louis XIV sculpture after a
model by Cartellier, and the chariot on the main arch of the Carrousel which was intended to replace the horses of
San Marco Resi in Venice.
At the end of his life, without any heirs, he offered his fortune to the city of Puy and he died in his Parisian palace on
the rue du Parc Royal, on the 8th February 1855 and was buried at the cemetery of the Père Lachaise in Paris, and a
museum, the Musée Crozatier was built in his honour and named after him.
The relationship between Charles Crozatier and Alessandro Torlonia and the Fucino ceremonial commission:
During the Restauration period, the most sumptuous table service was the one belonging to Prince Ruffo della
Scaletta (1778-1846), the ambassador of the two Sicilies.
In 1818, Prince della Scaletta ordered a colossal surtout de table from the famous Parisian bronzier Pierre-Philippe
Thomire. In 1843, Alexender and Teresa Torlonia were in Naples and during a reception at the Ruffo Palace were
suitably impressed by the surtout de table made by Thomire. They wanted to order a larger one but Thomire was too
old at this time to carry out the commission so they asked Crozatier who was at the height of his career to undertake it
instead.Their common origins (Puy De Dome) and the talent and knowledge of Crozatier was the start of a long
professional relationship between the two, only ending with the death of the sculptor in 1855. The first commission
was the surtout de table which was finished in January 1846. The last order was for the two chargers with two ewers
made for the ceremony of the completion of the draining of Lake Fucino in presence of the Pope Pius IX in 1853.

Fig. 1

Crozatier dish, Musée Crozatier, Le Puy-en-Velay, France

Fig. 2

Pair of ewers, Musée Crozatier, Le Puy-en-Velay, France

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

3½-inch siver chapter ring engraved I-XII twice and enclosing a blue enamel and silver
moon disc above an engraved gilt harbour scene, subsidiary dials above for strike control
and a large subsidiary dial below for alarm setting, the other side with reversible 3½-inch
calendar dial engraved with Saints for every day and enclosing a quarters ring and hour
dial engraved I-XII twice, a subsidiary dial below for days of the week, the right side with a
quarters recording dial, all silver dials with polychrome enamel decoration at the centre,
the gilt-brass posted three train fusee movement twice signed Samuel Hauckh, Augusta,
verge and balance wheel escapement, striking on two bells the left side with grande
sonnerie count wheel connected to a subsidiary fusee movement in the base striking on a
further bell, the case with five stage cupola enclosing two bells, the front and sides
engraved with birds and flowers, corner pilasters, similarly engraved flared base raised on
an ebonised plinth incorporating a key drawer
54cm. 21¼in. high

ESTIMATE 40,000-60,000 GBP

The tower clock or 'Turmchenuhr' was a popular form of case in South Germany from the early 17th century.
Reminiscent of the early days of clockmaking where the only clocks were placed within the towers of public buildings,
they were embellished with multiple finials and decorated with engraving to create a decorative work of art and,
perhaps, distract the owner from the inaccuracy of the timekeeping.
This particular clock is a good and large example which includes many of the complications found on Augsburg
masterpiece clocks of the 17th Century. It is only the lack of astronomical indications that precludes it
from masterpiece classification. However, the inclusion of the added complication of grande sonnerie striking makes it
extremely unusual and producing a spring driven movement to provide this form of striking at this early date was a
triumph of the clockmakers art.
Little is known of Samuel Hauckh but he was born around 1580 and became an independant clockmaker in 1612. He
died in 1637.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 10
an inlaid antique marble table top (commesso) of rectangular form, centred by a lavish oval
medallion of rare breccia quintilina, in turn surrounded by an oval border of shields in
breccia marina and lapis lazuli, peltae in alabastro fiorito, lozenges in alabastro tartarugato,
the symmetrical cartouches inlaid with stylised palmettes of giallo antico and rosso antico,
the thin outer border with stylised ovals and diapers of mother-of-pearl, coral and
cotognino, the central rectangular section with a verde antico ground inlaid with stylised
strapwork and scrolls in alabastro listato, each corner with a broccatello di Spagna
cartouche with four-petalled corollas, the cartouche ending in a stylised lily or fleur-de-lys
of lapis lazuli and rosso antico, each cartouche centred by an oval plaque with an inlaid
pietra dura bird on a branch, the exception of one oval plaque bearing a cockerel on a
branch, the shorter sides with a stylised peltae in semesanto, the outer border discreetly
interspersed with lapis lazuli on a ground of brocatello di Spagna, with elongated
cartouches of breccia quintilina with alternating roundels in breccia d’aleppo and
lumachella di Tunisi, the border on all sides centred with a rectangle of bianco e nero
d’aquitania surrounded by rosso antico, each corner with an oval of alabastro listato
burgeoning an acorn of lapis lazuli and set within a fragmented cartouche of bianco e nero
d’aquitania, the stylised ornaments and sections on the whole outlined in white marble, the
outer binding frame in nero antico
5.5cm. high, 179cm. wide, 125.5cm. deep; 2¼in., 5ft. 10½in., 4ft. 1½in.
ESTIMATE 800,000-1,200,000 GBP

• In Florence in 1840.

• Brought to England from Florence by the Rev. Mr Sanford in 1840 with a reputed Medici provenance, according to
notes kept in the family archives (at the time of its removal this table top rested on a Florentine Baroque giltwood
console table. The stretcher of this console bears a posthumous Medici coat-of-arms, probably placed at the time of
arrival of the top in England, a reminder of the reputed Medici provenance).

• Sold by the Rev. Mr Sanford in 1842 to the ancestors of the present owners, thence by descent.

Comparative Literature:

Bertrand Jestaz, Jean Menard et les tables de marbres romaines d’apres un document nouveau, in Melanges de l’
Ecole Francaise de Rome, 124/1, 2012, p.2-23.
Fert Sangiorgi, Documenti Urbinati, Inventari Del Palazzo Ducale (1582–1631), Collana Di studi e Testi 4, Accademia
Raffaello, Urbino, Preface, di Pasquale Rotondi, Rome 1976.
Alvar González-Palacios, Las Colecciones Reales Españolas De Mosaicos y Piedras Duras, Museo Nacional del
Prado, Madrid, 2001.
Anna Maria Giusti, Pietre Dure Hardstone in Furniture and Decorations, London, 1992.

Anna Maria Giusti, a cura di, Eternità e Nobiltà di Materia Itinerario artistico fra le pietre policrome, Edizioni
Polistampa, Firenze, 2003.
Wolfram Koeppe & Anna Maria Giusti, Art of the Royal Court, Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe,
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2008.
Filippo Tuena, I marmi di Commesso nel tardo rinascimento romano, p. 80, in a cura di Gabriele Borghini, Marmi
antichi; Rome, 1997.

This magnificent late-Renaissance table top, previously unknown and studied here for the first time, comes from one
of England's most prestigious stately homes. It is certainly one of the largest and most beautiful geometrically
designed Roman antique marble inlaid commesso ever conceived.
The exquisite quality and exceptional magnitude of this work of art is enhanced by the clever use of rare antique
marbles excavated from Roman Imperial ruins.
Produced at the pinnacle of Roman intarsia craftsmanship and technical virtuosity, at a time when the Renaissance
princely dynasties of the 16th century also vied for power through their assertion of artistic patronage, the sheer
significance of this rare inlaid table top is magnified by the precious, resilient and timeless material used, thereby
symbolically emulating the dynastic gravitas and continuity of its owners.
For its grand scale, the supreme quality of the antique marbles employed and the complexity of the geometric and
rigorous design, this table top constitutes a major addition to the group of Roman commessi known of, studied and
published to date.
The scale, complexity and overall quality of this work of art obviously suggests a prestigious commission. Table tops
of this magnitude were commissioned and collected by the enlightened rulers of the time (Gonzaga, Farnese, Medici,
.....), and almost every Italian and European Renaissance court included one or more examples of commessi table
tops produced either in Rome or Florence.

Very few of the Renaissance inlaid table tops known and researched so far bear heraldic symbols or coat-of-arms
which would obviously help to identify the patron who commissioned them, even in the absence of documentary

Despite the fact that at present no precise documents have been traced to identify the original commission and
location of this commesso, one should pay attention to the four acorns, the fruit of the oak tree inlaid at each corner,
which may represent the emblems of the original owner.
No other Roman commessi are known to depict acorns, a fruit rarely represented in art, and the presence of these
acorns, cleverly positioned on the four corners of this tabletop, does not seem accidental.
The simple acorn fruit, together with the leaves of the oak tree were the emblems of the very elaborate coat-of-arms of
the Della Rovere family, who ruled the Dukedom of Urbino, a refined court whose importance would surely have
justified the presence of similar works of art in their collections.

Both dukes of Urbino, Guidobaldo II della Rovere (1514-1574), who married Vittoria Farnese, and their son Francesco
Maria II della Rovere (1549–1631) were avid collectors and very often the works of art commissioned by them were
adorned with the emblems of their coat-of- arms ( see for example the table sold in these rooms on 5th July 2010, Lot
6 and fully catalogued and researched by Prof. Alvar Gonzalez Palacios).
In an 1582 inventory of the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino (before the court moved to Pesaro), a most interesting entry is
found at number 126 and which, if the Della Rovere provenance is taken into consideration, could well refer to our
table. It describes:
"Tavole di noce con marmo: 126 .Una tavola di noce granda intarsiata de diversi marmi et pietre mischie, dentro la
quale vi sono Quattro quadri di paragone, con cornige a capre che servano per piedi." (Fert Sangiorgi, Documenti
Urbinati, Inventari del Palazzo Ducale, 1582-1631, Urbino, 1976, page 32.) which translates to describe 'a large
walnut table inlaid with diverse marbles and various stones, inside which there are four rectangles in paragone' (a
type of black marble).

One cannot fail to notice that the outer border of the present large table top also boasts four rectangles, but instead
inlaid with bianco e nero d’Aquitania marble. Nonetheless, it should be mentioned that all the entries of the
abovementioned inventory are very generic and without sizes and that the guardarobieri, that is to say, the members
of the courts who carried out the inventories, were not experts themselves and therefore they could easily have
mistaken the more rare and prized aquitania marble (black and white) for paragone (black marble), a term generally
used. Moreover, paragone is usually used as a background stone and therefore not sufficiently important enough to
be inset in four reserves on an important inlaid top. Interestingly, the person who carried out the inventory does
however record the large size of the table, similar to the present one and the fact that both diversi marmi e pietre
mischie’ are mentioned seems to stress the variety of materials employed. Furthermore, it should be noted that a
technical analysis taken of the thick border (almost 6cm) suggests that our table never had the usual moulded border
(so called a becco di civetta) found on other tables, as it was possibly envisaged to be inset in a Renaissance walnut
On the same axis of each acorn, a stylised lily or fleur-de-lys rests. Unlike the acorns, stylised lilies are recorded on
some Roman commessi and even on a preparatory drawing (see figs 4 & 7) and so in this case we could
perhaps simply be presented with a decorative motif and not of the heraldic symbol of the Farnese family. However,
should a possible Della Rovere provenance be forthcoming, it should be observed that the mother of Francesco
Maria II was in fact Vittoria Farnese (1521–1602), niece of Pope Paul III and sister of Cardinal Allesandro Farnese
(who commissioned the celebrated Farnese table now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and several

It is as if the lily is pointing to the acorn, alluding to a correlation between the two and conceding then that perhaps the
intention in design is rather poignant. The use of lapis lazuli, one of the most luxurious stones in the table, seems also
not to have been placed by chance, but instead has been possibly positioned to accentuate the heraldic motifs and to
stress the importance of the patrons. Finally, mention should be made of the three cartouches, each centred by an
oval depicting a bird on a branch and a curious fourth depicting a cockerel, the symbol of which connotes vigilance,
courage and an emblem of watchfulness and honour in victory.

Denoting their largely ‘arcaic’ design, the birds and cockerel could represent the first timid appearance of naturalistic
elements on Roman tops, which are otherwise known for their geometric layout, and in contrast with the more
naturalistic inlaid hardstone tops produced in Florence. At the time, exchanges between Florence and Rome were
frequent as the craftsmen moved from one city to the other. One could therefore not exclude the intervention of a
Florentine craftsman with regard to the naturalistic elements.

It was only towards the very end of the century and into the early part of the seventeenth century that basic figurative
elements like tendrils, flowerheads, military trophies and more elaborate birds fully appear on Roman tops and where
they were combined and integrated with the more traditional geometric shapes.

A technical analysis on these ovals does not seem to suggest that they are later 18th or early 19th century
replacements. However, should an antique replacement have taken place, various open ended questions could be
asked: did these ovals contain another variety of precious antique marble, with perhaps a more elaborate coat of
arms? Was this table top at some stage moved to Florence, which seems to be suggested to in the family archives of
the present owner, when acquired in 1842? Should the reputed Medici provenance, together with the suggested Della
Rovere link be substantiated, then it is worthwhile recording the movement of some of the art collections
from Francesco Maria II Della Rovere to the Medici family, via his grand-daughter Vittoria della Rovere ( 1622-1694)
spouse of Grand Duke Ferdinand II de Medici (1610-1670).


Early sixteenth century Rome was the catalyst of High Renaissance culture, when artists, intellectuals, writers and
potentates endeavoured to mirror the works of the ancients with a renewed and passionate interest in the culture of
Classical Antiquity. Throughout this century and beyond, the Eternal City promoted archaeological discoveries and
excavations amidst the quest for rare and beautiful stones and marbles from southern Italy, Greece, Africa and Asia
Minor, which once embellished the majestic private and public buildings and temples of Imperial Rome. This notion
consequently attracted enlightened princes and fervent collectors of antique marbles from all over Europe. Marble
work and in particular opus sectile, an innovative mosaic technique of placing together irregular sections of coloured
stone to create floors and adorn walls, was being discovered during the archaeological excavations of the sixteenth

This legacy of marble working lasted throughout the Middle Ages and it was revived and perfected by the Mannerist
craftsmen of commesso (from the Latin verb, committere, meaning to join together).

With columns and fragments of every kind of marble and coloured stone found deposited everywhere in the city,
Renaissance artisans would collect these, cut them accordingly and use them to decorate the churches, palazzos,
monuments and furniture. An example of this is visible on the present table top, which epitomises the zenith of
Renaissance Roman craftsmanship and virtuosity.

The present antique marble inlaid table top, a vision of elegance, grandeur and vibrancy, is a tribute to
those extraordinary Imperial Roman marbles.
The extremely rare and very large breccia quintilina in the central oval adds to the value and importance of this piece.
Breccia quintilina, sometimes called breccia di Tivoli, was excavated at the site of the Villa Quintiliolo, Tivoli near the
villa of Emperor Hadrian in around 1565 and thereafter became most sought after and subsequently almost
disappeared. Its rarity implied that it was used either for small sections of inlays or, when used in a larger quantity, it
immediately magnified the importance and the ambition of the work of art which contained it, as seen on the present
table top. Another example is a Roman inlaid marble tabletop, early seventeenth century 284cm. wide, 137cm. deep,
sold Sotheby’s New York, 5 November 1998, Lot 390, for $2,500,000.

The design and a few Illustrious comparisons

The present table top belongs to a particular group of important Renaissance Roman commessi, of the second half of
the 16th century, all of which are characterised by:
- a large central oval (in this case made of one of the most precious and rare marbles, the breccia quintilina, here
used without economy) and bordered not by one, but by three bands, richly inlaid with various stylised classical motifs;
- the presence of an elaborate cartouche (strapwork) here in alabastro listato, which contains the
abovementioned oval which is in turn contained by:
- a broad outer border inlaid with pure geometric and abstract motifs which exalt the beauty of the campionario of
stones displayed;
- an almost absence of naturalistic or figurative motifs (flowersheads, tendrils, trophies) which start to appear on
later Roman tops.
A group of designs for works of this genre exists and could be attributed to the architect and sculptor, Giovanni
Antonio Dosio (1533–1611). This further serves to strengthen the association between the decorative and the
architectural in intarsia. Giovanni Antonio Dosio worked primarily in Rome and Florence. (Alvar Gonazález-Palacios,
op. cit., p. 51.)
As seen in a design by the artist, (fig. 3) shows the distinctive design outline with the central oval and strapwork, the
outer border with abstract geometric ornament set out in a symmetrical fashion, all similar to the design of the present
table top. Of interest is an ornament of stylised strapwork outlined in white marble dating back to the 5th century AD
on a pillar of Santa Sabina in Rome, once again showing how the Renaissance architects and craftsmen drew
inspiration from the earlier designs
(fig. 2). Another detailed drawing by Dosio (fig. 4), illustrates an abstract cartouche ending in a stylised lily, very similar
to the one present on each corner of our table under the ovals containing the birds. (A Giusti, Eternità e Nobiltà di
Materia, op.cit., p.66.)
Although the comparison may sound ambitious, the quality of the stones employed on the present tabletop (verde
antico, broccatello, aquitania), echoes the beauty and depth of those on the most celebrated Farnese table top, circa
1568 and commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, whose emblem (the Farnese lily) is disseminated
throughout the table, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, (fig. 7). It is interesting to compare the
stylized strapwork around the ovals of aquitania on the Farnese table top with the bolder example around the central
oval on the present table.

The overall composition of our table top (oval, within a border, contained in stylised abstract strapwork, framed but
with a rectangle by a geometrically inlaid border) is in fact very similar to the celebrated Roman antique marble inlaid
table top, late sixteenth century, formerly in the collection of Cardinal Richelieu and now in the Musée du Louvre,
(200x133cm) Paris (fig. 5). The Louvre example seems to be slightly later in date due to the presence of those
abovementioned tendrils which are completely absent in our table top. Apart from the central composition one should
notice the strong similarities between the four beautiful stylised rosso and giallo antico palmettes, symmetrically
positioned at the principal points of our oval with those scattered around the central crenelated oval of alabastro
marino in the Louvre example. The discreet, yet expressive use of lapis lazuli in both these tables allows for further
The Louvre table, together with another late 16th century table top (150 x 98cm) in the collection of the same museum
(fig. 6), a simpler commesso in the Palazzo Farnese (Rome) and a previously undocumented inlaid table (168 x
106cm) kept in the Casa de Pilatos, Seville, are discussed in an article by Bertrand Jestaz, op. cit. plates 3,4,9,10,
which has been kindly brought to our attention by Prof. Alvar González-Palacios.
Together with our table, these three tops and the table top of Seville made for the Duke d’Alcala (c.1570) (which
shows empty compartments carved into the white marble which were destined to contain the marbles now lost), all
share the same aforementioned composition. The Seville table is documented as having been made by Giovanni
Menardo (Jean Menard, c.1525-1582), called Il Franciosino, a marble cutter active in Rome and famous for his inlaid
marble tables, the same person who certainly made and possibly designed the celebrated Farnese table in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Furthermore, the Seville discovery and the table tops in the Louvre, all
attributed to Jean Menard, certainly have strong design similarities to the table top here presented. The workshop of
Giovanni was then continued by his brother, son and son-in-law, and one may assume that they continued to use
some of the design models invented years before.
Finally, another table top, conceived without an outer broad band, but still illustrating a central oval amidst a bold
strapwork is illustrated in FilippoTuena, op.cit., p. 80.

Fig. 1

Glossary of marbles and hardstones

Fig. 2

5th Century AD stylised strapwork on a pillar at Santa Sabina Rome

Fig. 3

Giovanni Antonio Dosio drawing (late 16th century)

Fig. 4

Giovanni Antonio Dosio watercolour (late 16th century)

Fig. 5

The Cardinal Richelieu table top ©RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du

Louvre) Daniel Arnaudet

Fig. 6

Roman antique marble table top, ©RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du

Louvre) / Jean-Gilles Berizzi

Fig. 7

The Farnese table top. ©The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 8

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), Veduta di Campo Vaccino

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 11
PIERRE GOLE (1620-1684)
the upper section of breakfront form with three frieze drawers inlaid with lunettes and
bellflowers above a cupboard door inlaid with a vase of flowers on a plinth opening to
reveal a fitted interior with four drawers and a parquetry floor above a further drawer
flanked by panels with a ribbon-tied floral bouquet above a stylised scallopshell, the inside
of the door inlaid with a vase of flowers on a plinth within an octagon with ribbon-tied floral
bouquets at each angle, with two banks of four drawers inlaid with scrolling foliage and
flowers similar to the internal drawers, the sides with boldly scrolled acanthus and leaves,
the stand with a canted edge inlaid with trails of acanthus above three frieze drawers and a
pull-out leather-lined writing slide, on spirally turned legs joined by a moulded stretcher on
flattened bun feet; alterations to stretcher and feet
cabinet 82cm. high, 134cm. wide, 57cm. deep; Stand 87.5cm. high, 135cm. wide, 60cm.
deep; 2ft. 8¼in., 4ft. 4¾in., 1ft. 10½in., 2ft. 10½in., 4ft. 5¼in., 1ft. 11½in.
ESTIMATE 100,000-150,000 GBP

Private European Collection

Comparative Literature:
Monique Riccardi-Cubitt, The Art of the Cabinet, London, 1992, fig, 53.
Alexandre Pradère, French Furniture Makers, the Art of the Ebéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution, Tours, 1989,
pp. 44-51.
Pierre Ramond, Chefs-D’Oeuvres des Marqueteurs, Vol.1, 1994, Editions, H. Vial, p. 56 and pp. 74-79.
Th. H. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Pierre Gole ébéniste de Louis XIV, Dijon, 2005, pp. 138, fig, 110, p. 140, figs 11 and 112.

Louis XIV faste et Décors Mai-Octobre,1960, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre-Pavillon de Marsan, Pl.VI,
This impressive cabinet on stand profusely inlaid with marquetry of exhuberant flowers represents the pinnacle of the
art of naturalistic marquetry and is typical of the work of Dutch marqueteurs working in the 17th century who
disseminated their style throughout Europe such as Pierre Gole (1620-1684) who worked for Louis XIV, Jan van
Mekeren (1658-1733) working in Amsterdam, Leonardo van de Vinne (1659-1713) in Florence. The design of the
vase of flowers on a plinth is probably based upon engravings by Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (d. 1699).
The skill of the Parisian ébénistes working in the 1680’s can be seen well represented on this beautifully inlaid cabinet
on stand which is almost certainly by Pierre Gole due to its striking similarity to other pieces attributed to or known to
be by him. The form of the cabinet and execution of the marquetry are very much in his style with the fluid rinceaux
and floral bouquets all depicted in exotic woods and in this case precious metals on a dark ebony ground providing a
striking contrast executed in a virtuoso technique.
An almost identical cabinet attributed to Pierre Gole circa 1670-80, in terms of its form, materials and marquetry, with
an identical vase on the central door and identical marquetry on the drawers and frieze although on a caryatid stand,
is illustrated by Lunsingh Scheurleer op. cit., p. 138, fig. 110, reproduced here in fig. 1. The inside of the illustrated
cabinet has an identical vase on the inside of the door flanked by ribbon-tied bouquets at the angles,
identical scallopshell and floral bouquet flanking the internal drawers and marquetry on the internal drawers and sides.
It is now in a Private collection but had formerly belonged to Charles Angell of Bath, then was sold at the Palais
Galleria, Paris 6-7th December 1974, lot 42; Charles de Pauw; Marc Lagrand, Paris; Galerie Gismondi, Paris, 1995,
and finally sold Drouot-Richelieu sale, Paris, 21st November 2008, lot 119 (305,000E). Both cabinets are so similar in
fact almost identical, they must be by the same hand and made at the same time.
The author Lunsingh Scheurleer states in respect of the illustrated cabinet, op. cit. that in style and decoration it is a
piece executed by Gole in around 1680. The architectural composition of the cabinet is typical with the central door
flanked on either side by flat pilasters and a bank of drawers. There is also a plinth on the base of the cabinet in which
there are three drawers. The superb quality of the flower marquetry is another indication it is by Gole and the way the
shading has been done with hot sand to create a three-dimensional effect and there is the flowerhead from which
there issues two leafy branches on the front of the drawers, the scrolling acanthus, the vase with the bouquet of
flowers on the front and reverse of the central door and the four small bouquet of flowers which are tied with a ribbon
on the angles. The use of these small bouquets by Gole can be seen in the years around 1660 for example on the
cabinet in the Rijksmuseum, in Amsterdam circa 1662; on the tops of the tables at Burghley House, dating to around
1665 and the National Museum, Stockholm, all illustrated by the author op. cit., in figs 69, 70, 72, 103 and 104.
Furthermore, the use of exotic woods such as amaranth, holly, walnut, bois satiné and green tinted fruitwood are
another feature of Gole's work.
Other comparable cabinets include :
- A cabinet illustrated in the catalogue of the exhibition at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, pl. VI, no. 57, reproduced
here in fig. 2, subsequently sold Christie’s London, 7th December 2006, lot 235, stated to be in the manner of Pierre
Gole (£153,000). It is inlaid in various woods, pewter and ivory. The vase on the central door differs from that on the
offered cabinet and it is surmounted by a demi-lune panel inlaid with flowers which is missing on the offered cabinet.
The inside of the latter is much more beautiful with detailed marquetry whereas the illustrated one has mainly
parquetry inside and plain veneered drawers.
-A cabinet in the manner of Pierre Gole, sold in these Rooms, the Property of Helena Hayward Deceased, lot 67, 30th
May 1997, reproduced here in fig. 3. Reiner Baarsen of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam assisted on the attribution to
Gole of that cabinet. Although it is not on such a grand scale as the offered piece, and the central door has a more
baluster shaped flower-filled vase, the plinth base is extremely similar, and so is the marquetry on the drawers,
although there birds on alternate drawers on the Hayward cabinet.
-A cabinet of similar form, although inlaid in various woods and not precious metals as on the offered cabinet, and with
a vase on a plinth of differing design on the door and similarly inlaid drawers, stated to be possibly by Gole, was sold,
from the Collection of Professor and Mrs Clifford Ambrose Truesdell, lot 261, Christie’s, New York, 9th June 2009,
(sold $ 116,500), which was subsequently attributed to Pierre Gole and sold lot 219, Hôtel Drouot, Salle I, Paris 17th
November 2010 (245,000E).
-A cabinet although unattributed, however, very similar in form to all the others but with the demi-lune mouldings
above the central door flanked by pilasters, with similar marquetry and on a stand composed of female terms, was
sold Sotheby’s Monaco, 30th November 1986, lot 1039.
-A cabinet with related marquetry, which was stated to be in the manner of Pierre Gole, but not as finely executed as
on the offered one, sold Sotheby’s, New York, 27th October 1990, lot 53 ($150,000).
- A cabinet at Burghley House, Stamford, illustrated Lunsingh Scheurleer, op. cit., p. 124, fig. 95, which had been
acquired by the 5th Earl of Exeter, together with four guéridons and a table which were en suite, which probably date
from the 1660’s. Although unlike the offered cabinet it has inlay of ivory in the flowers and green tinted horn.
- A cabinet sold Christie’s London, 23rd June 1988, lot 109, now in the Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, illustrated
Lunsingh Scheurleer, op. cit., p. 132, fig. 105.

Pierre Gole (1620-1684):

Born at Bergen, near Alkmaar, in Holland in about 1620, Pierre Gole moved at an early age to Paris. By 1643 he was
working as apprentice to the menuisier en ébène Adrien Carbrant, whose daughter he soon married and their
marriage contract is dated 1645. The two younger Carbrant sisters, Marguerite and Charlotte, were married
respectively to Pierre Gole's younger brother, Adrien, and to Jean Marot, Architecte des Bâtiments du Roi, and it is
possibly through this connection that Gole received his royal patronage. From 1656, he is described in documents as
maître menuisier en ébène ordinaire du roi, but his first recorded royal commission is for a vast cabinet to hold the
king's medals and drawings to stand in his study in the Louvre. This piece, inlaid with marquetry of flowers and
mounted in gilt-bronze, was delivered in 1661 and stood three metres high. It cost 6,600 livres. In 1661, he also
delivered pieces for the new royal apartments at the Château de Vincennes. One of the pieces he provided was a
'cabinet d'architecture' in marquetry of flowers on an ebony ground. Gole's most famous royal commission was for the
'Cabinets de la Guerre et de la Paix', which he made between 1665 and 1668, almost certainly after designs by
Lebrun. These cabinets no longer exist. Like many of the pieces that Gole made for the king and for Cardinal Mazarin,
they were probably dismantled when they were sold off from the Royal Collection in 1741 and 1751. In 1663 and
1664, Gole delivered a suite of furniture with floral marquetry on an ivory ground for Versailles. It comprisd a large
cabinet with its two guéridons and their attendant tables, one with matching guéridons. The legs of the cabinet as well
as those of the tables were in the form of columns. Gole had made a speciality of this type of marquetry in ivory in
Gole's workshop was situated on the rue de l' Arbre Sec, but it seems probable that he also had the use of premises
at the Gobelins for his Royal commands. The famous tapestry of the visit of Louis XIV to the Gobelins factory in 1667
shows two ébénistes, one of whom is obviously Domenico Cucci, and the other can only be Pierre Gole, holding up a
tortoiseshell marquetry table of a type of which he supplied many for the Royal Palaces. Gole was almost entirely
subsumed in providing pieces for the King’s principal residence at Versailles. They were mainly tables in walnut or
floral marquetry. The six tables delivered in 1679 as well as twenty-three others delivered in 1682 at the time of the
King’s move to Versailles were decorated on the top with a central motif of a vase or bouquet of flowers on an ebony
or cedar ground. Gole died in 1684, a year before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which would almost certainly
have put him out of business. The inventory of his stock at the time of his death describes almost two-hundred pieces
of furniture, only thirteen of which are cabinets. Among the more illustrious of his clients that are listed, the princesse
de Carignan stands out, along with the princesse de Mecklembourg, the princesse de Bade, Louise de Savoie and
Marie de Bourbon.

Fig. 1

Detail of a cabinet by Pierre Gole, circa 1670-80, Private collection

Fig. 2

Cabinet, Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris

Fig. 3

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 12
6½-inch latched velvet-covered dial with silver winged cherub spandrels and chapter ring,
date aperture below XII, silver hands, the two train fusee movement with six latched
baluster pillars, re-converted verge escapement, striking the roman notation on two bells,
the backplate signed Joseph Knibb Londini Fecit and engraved with tulips, numbered
count wheel engraved with a rose, the domed case with carrying handle and pierced fret,
the front door with winged cherub escutcheons
29cm. 11½in. high

ESTIMATE 300,000-500,000 GBP

Private European Collection

R A Lee, The Knibb Family Clockmakers, Plates 79 &133
Joseph Knibb, the most famous and inventive member of the celebrated Knibb clockmaking family was born circa
1640. He was apprenticed to his cousin Samuel in about 1655 and after serving seven years worked first at Oxford
and then moved to London in 1670 where he was made Free of the Clockmakers' Company. He must soon have built
up a good reputation for himself as it is recorded that he supplied a turret clock for Windsor Castle in 1677 and
payments were made to him in 1682 on behalf of King Charles II.

No other maker produced such an intriguing variety of striking and repeating mechanisms and perhaps the most
interesting of these is the Roman system employed in this clock. It is an ingenious method of accurately sounding the
hours by a smaller number of blows than the conventional system. Two bells are used, the smaller of which indicates
the Roman I as displayed on the dial and the larger bell the Roman V. The Roman X is indicated by two blows on the
larger bell. The greatest number of blows struck at any hour is four at 8 and 12 o'clock. The advantage of the Roman
system is that the clock has to make only twenty-six blows in twelve hours compared with seventy-eight blows on a
conventional clock. The numeral for 4 o'clock, on a Roman striking clock, is shown as IV, requiring only two blows,
rather than the more usual IIII. Knibb may have had some difficulty persuading his clients to accept this form of
striking as examples are rare and the notation is, at first, confusing.
Towards the end of the 17th century Joseph Knibb moved to Hanslop in Buckinghamshire. A few clocks with the
Hanslop address are known but by the early years of the 18th Century Knibb had virtually retired; he died in
December 1711.

Silver-mounted roman striking table clocks by Joseph Knibb are very rare. A very similar clock but with a dated
inscription was sold in these rooms as part of the George Daniels Horological Collection on 6th December 2012, Lot
130 for £1,273,250.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 13
woven in silk and wool, with groups of figures in elaborately represented contemporary
fashion and finery, probably depicting The Story of David, (II Samuel 11), representing King
David enthroned within his court seated underneath an elaborate tasselled canopy with a
hanging chamber clock, with seated courtiers and standing messenger before him, with
onlookers from beyond the colonnade with Solomonic column supports and from
balconies in the background; within a four-sided border with dense stems of flowers,
foliage and fruit, bound by ribbon in the side borders, and held by ribbon tied to hoops in
the upper and lower borders, against a dark blue ground, each corner with a
compartmentalised golden lion mask within a white ribbon cartouche against an azure blue
ground, all within further narrow outer and inner bands of red and yellow, within a later
dark blue outer selvedge
Approximately 347cm. high, 400cm. wide; 11ft. 4in., 13ft. 1in.

ESTIMATE 300,000-500,000 GBP

Acquired for the private collection of Manuel Pérez de Guzmán y Carrión, VII Marqués de Morbecq and Maria de las
Mercedes Carrión y Santa Marina, Marquise de Morbecq, Madrid (Collectors and patrons of Marc du Plantier b.1901-
d.1975 furniture),
thence by descent to Juan Manuel Pérez de Guzmán y Carrión, VIII Marqués de Morbecq

This tapestry is a wonderfully evocative tapestry of the transition period from the Northern Gothic style into the
Renaissance. Sixteenth century figural tapestries were the preeminent figurative art form in the courts of the monarchs
of Europe, and also one of the most expensive. Brussels was a very important and influential centre to the tapestry
industry, with historic guilds and the complex collaboration of cartoonists (from the Netherlands and Italy),
entrepreneurial and competing merchants, established skilled weaving-merchant workshops, powerful and wealthy
patrons and a developing and widening market. For centuries they were associated with prestige, power and wealth.
The narrative series with status were still those of Biblical and Classical subjects which presented the virtues which
rulers should emulate, and included The Story of David. The visual richness represented by the complex patterns of
clothing, the symbolism and allegory were appealing aspects of tapestries. With this tapestry being compositionally
transitional there are still a large number of figures, arranged in tiers close to the picture plane, marking a moment in
time, and woven with perspective in a more open architectural setting. This particular tapestry is a rare example of a
panel from a weaving of a series with this beautiful border with the unusual lion masks in each corner. Many series
have become separated over the last 480-500 years since they were woven. It is therefore of historical interest that
this piece has appeared back onto the tapestry market, in which it played an important part when originally woven.
Tapestry weaving in Brussels in the Sixteenth Century
At the transition of the 15th/16th century, and a move into the Renaissance from the Gothic, the two different styles
coexisted in harmony in using the pictorial tradition, the graphic developments and the influences of the Italian
fifteenth century and later. Italian `Raphael school' designs revolutionised high quality tapestry production, but they
were not used in isolation, but taken up by Brussels designers and combined with traditional Netherlandish devices,
such as multiple narratives, extensive patterning and attention to landscapes. The transitional – Pre-Renaissance
period in the tapestry industry designed compositions that used a large number of figures in relief across the tapestry,
set within open landscape and architectural settings, with emphasis on the costume, visual richness of details and
there was a somewhat limited sense of movement and creation of illusion in subtle rhetoric gestures. It was a formula
that suited the sophistication of requirements, the scale and nature of the medium. Crowding figures allowed
cartoonists to adapt and re-use figures, which was an advantage to meet the fashion and demands of the time and the
costs of production, with interpretations varying in the different qualities of the series woven, with and without metal-
thread. It was a formula used amongst the cartoonists and weavers, and resulted in the style continuing during the
first decades of the 16th century. The crowding of figures allowed for adaption of figures from one tapestry design to
the other and one subject to another, with all dressed in contemporary fashion, whether mythological, allegorical,
Biblical, classical or historical subjects.
In Flanders this period coincides with the Regency of Margaret of Austria (b.1480, d.1530) as her father Emperor
Maximilian named her governor of the Habsburg Netherlands between 1507-1515, 1517-1530) as guardian of her
young nephew Charles (the future Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor). Margaret was a great patron of the arts, with
painters in her Mechelen based court and she exercised important influence over the development of the Netherland
tapestry industry during a crucial phase in its transition. Other European Royal patrons included Charles V, Holy
Roman Emperor (1500-1558) and Isabella, Holy Roman Empress (1503-1539), Henry VIII of England (1491-1547),
and Francis I of France (1494-1547) and his consort Duchess of Brittany. Brussels weavers benefitted from patronage
in the early 16th century, especially the important workshops of Pieter de Pannemaker (provided David and
Bathsheba set to Maximilian I in 1517), and Pieter van Aelst (1502-1550), whose name is woven within some
tapestries including a panel from Story of David and Bathsheba, Sigmaringen Castle) and the court painters, Jan van
Roome, and then Bernard van Orley were important tapestry designers. Bernaert van Orley (1488-1541), was a
painter who was revolutionising tapestry design, and as a result of his strong influence in the profession many of the
tapestries designed during this particularly productive period show his influence.
Moralising and didactic allegorical series were woven in Brussels, including The Twelve Ages of Man, circa 1515
(Metropolitan Museum of Art) and many of these subjects continued beyond the change in style. The costumes and
fashion reminiscent of the ceremonial proceedings at the court of the Dukes of Burgundy, continued to be portrayed
with some contemporary elements by 1530. With the generic use of contemporary costume for all subjects, repeated
figural types, the absence of inscriptions and attributes woven within the tapestries, the subjects are not always easily
identified, and during the period of transition, and as represented here, the use of names, banderoles, initials, began
to disappear.
Tapestry Series and subjects: The Story of David and Bathsheba
Along with tapestry series of the subject depicting the Passion of Christ, and The Story of Esther, the Biblical Story of
David and Bathsheba was very popular and King David served as an influential figure for the Renaissance Ruler, as
King David was anointed by the prophet Samuel, had the gift of prophecy and repented after he has sinned, was
warrior, ruler and statesman. He was important in Christian art through the Book of Matthew, for not being a
prefiguration of Christ, but being a direct ancestor. The subject of The Story of David was one of the most popular
series woven in Brussels in the first half 16th century, having been a subject used from the 14th century. Other
tapestries of this subject are a group in the Royal Collection, Madrid, originally owned by King Manuel I of Portugal
(recorded in 1505), a set for King Henry VIII of England, and another hung in Toledo Cathedral by Cardinal Quiroga in
1580, of which all that remains today is the first panel, the Entry of the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.
There are two series of the early 16th century to consider in relation to the present tapestry and the comparables
cited, one being the important and comprehensive early Renaissance series of ten tapestries from The Story of David,
(Musée National de la Renaissance, Ecouen), after Jan van Roome, circa 1510-1515, possibly woven through
collaboration of Brussels weavers, including Pierre d'Enhien and Pierre van Aelst and Pierre de Pannemaker (see
Delmarcel, 1976). This series influenced future weavings of the subject. Another series to be considered due to
similarities in style is the series of The Foundation of Rome, designed by Bernaert van Orley, woven Brussels, circa
1530 (Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid) with a predominant foreground scene and incorporation of elaborate architecture,
woven with subject narrative banderoles in the border (see de Vega, 1986).
Comparable tapestries (compositions and border type)
The figural composition of the panel offered shows direct similarities to a tapestry from The Story of David and
Bathsheba, which was part of a set of six tapestries from Milton Abbey, Dorset, sold at Sotheby’s, London, 11th
December 1987, lots 165-170, from The Property of the Trustees of the Will of the First Lord Rochdale. They were
purchased by L. Harris, prior to 1932, as the tapestries do not appear in the 1932 sale catalogue of Milton Abbey.
Then owned by Lord Rochdale, Old Hall, Highgate, and on loan to Montecute House (Somerset), and then to the
House of Lords (hanging in the Peers Dining Room). The set were all woven within a border of similar generic type to
the present tapestry with the ribbon bound stems of richly detailed swags, and the side borders with vases of flowers
containing irises, although without the distinctive corner lion masks. They were entitled `King David sends the
messenger to Bathsheba’ (II Samuel, 11), `Bathsheba receives the King’s messenger’ (II Samuel, 11: 4), `The toilet of
Bathsheba’ (II Samuel, 11: 2), `King Solomon welcomes his mother Bathsheba' (I Judges, 2:19), `King Solomon
invites Bathsheba to share his throne (I Judges, 2:19), and `The Coronation of Bathsheba’. The Lord Rochdale panel
entitled `King David sends the messenger to Bathsheba’ (265cm. high, 325cm wide), is comparable with the present
tapestry for it depicts exactly the same composition (Fig. 1), only a reduced amount as it does not include the top third
of the present composition, and has not incorporated the women overlooking from the balcony, or the Solomonic
columns or composition further to the left of it as seen in the present tapestry. It was recorded as having the Brussels
Brabant town mark in the lower right hand corner of the selvedge, hence post 1528. Variations of the Solomonic
columns are present in two of the other Rochdale panels. The incorporation of distinctive architectural buildings in the
background is a common element in the cited tapestries, and the Solomonic columns is based on one of twelve from
the old Baptistery, St. Peter’s, Rome, traditionally associated with having been brought from the temple in Jerusalem.
The columns were used in the Acts of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, after cartoons by Raphael (Raffaello
Sanzio) 1514-1516, woven from 1517-1519, Brussels workshop of Van Aelst, for Pope Leo X.
For a tapestry within an identical border type to the offered tapestry, and with similar compositional proportions and
elements, depicting a `Flemish Court Council Scene’, Brussels, circa 1530, (351cm. high, 406cm. wide; 11ft. 6in., 13ft.
4in.), (Fig. 2), from the Victoria & Albert Museum (No.88-1896: Purchased Lowengard, Paris), (see G.F. Wingfield
Digby, 1980). It was noted that a pair of tapestries were sold from the Marczell von Nemes Collection, F. Muller &
Co., Amsterdam, 13th-14th November 1928, lots 70-71, with one panel depicting the `Meeting of Isaac and Rebecca’,
and the other, a `Court scene’, with similarities to the Victoria & Albert Museum weaving and variations such as the
inclusion of glass roundels representing Moses and Samson. Wingfield Digby alluded to an Old Testament subject
being indicated with the court represented being that of Solomon, with Bathsheba seated at his right hand side. The
von Nemes pieces are extremely close in style to the tapestries from the Foundation of Rome series, circa 1525-1530
(op.cit. de Vega, 1986).
With the similarity in design, identical borders and very similar dimensions, it is not improbably that the present
weaving and the Victoria & Albert Museum example were weavings from the same designs, and are depicting scenes
from the same subject.
It was considered that the looser drawing style of the Victoria & Albert panel, and the borrowed elements from the von
Nemes panel, suggested a later date, post 1530. This consideration of a later date and a suggested subject matter is
strengthened when comparing it with a weaving which depicts a scene from `The Story of David’, showing the central
figure of Bathsheba leading the crowned King Solomon towards King David’s mule (with the Brussels Brabant town
mark, approx. 360cm. high, 535cm. wide; 11ft. 9in., 17ft. 6in.) from the Burrell Collection, Glasgow (Inv. 46-111). The
border is of similar type, but without ribbons and lion masks. There are elements of the Burrell Collection weaving
which can be directly compared to those of the presently offered tapestry, for example the incorporation of the small
boy in the foreground, in the same pose in both panels, and the use of a background colonnade with onlookers with
spears which are similar. A figural type of a female with distinctive plaited hair arrangements is also found in the von
Nemes panel taken from ‘Remus taken captive’ from the Foundation of Rome series, and a variation of this female
figure, standing in the Victoria & Albert panel is borrowed from another tapestry series altogether, the figure of Ceres,
from ‘January – Months’ tapestry, in the Palazzo Doria, Rome (op.cit. Adelson, 1986).
There is another comparable tapestry described as from the Story of David and Bathsheba (approx. 367cm. high,
413cm. wide; 11ft. 11in., 13ft. 6in.) in the St. Louis Art Museum (see Oursel, 2000) which has incorporated a canopied
bed and mirror, elderly scholar wearing glasses and reading a ledger, and a small girl seated on the floor, which all
appear in the Victoria and Albert panel. It has a variation of the border type, with irises in vases and ribbon bound
stems, such as those used in the Ecouen series (Delmarcel, 1976).
There is a border type of similar design, to that of the offered tapestry and the panel in the Victoria and Albert
Museum, on a distinctive series of Months tapestries and including corner compartments with a mask in the lower
corners and snails symbolising the passage of time in the top borders (see Adelson, 1994). It is documented with an
unidentified designer, cartoonist of the circle of/influenced by Bernaert van Orley, unidentified weavers, Brussels
workshop, circa 1525-1528. It is considered that the designer may have been involved with, amongst other series, that
of The Foundation of Rome in the Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, cited earlier with reference to comparable
compositional motifs with the present tapestry (op.cit. De Vega. 1986)
Interestingly all the cited comparable tapestries, including those from the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Burrell
Collection, St. Louis Museum and the Rochdale series, depict a similar plaited hair female figural type for the
character considered to be Bathsheba, and a young rather than an old representation of King David, the latter of
which is also depicted in the present tapestry.
Very little is known of the artists and cartoonist involved in the production. With the lack of documentary evidence,
clear names either for the subject, the patron, or for those involved in the production, factors for consideration are the
varied design influences. These were complex and involved the painters as designer, interpretations by cartoonists
and the weavers, and often the collaboration of the artists within the towns and workshops. These factors, along with
the adaption of design elements, especially from the well known series, results in treating undocumented attributions
with caution.
There are works by the recorded designers and cartoonists which have not resulted in attributions to specific tapestry
series, due to the sharing of the aforementioned formal motifs by the industry. Although this tapestry cannot be
attributed with certainty to a designer, cartoonist or a specific workshop, this does not detract from the importance of
it, with its fine weave, transitional composition, balanced colouring, distinctive border and importantly its survival. For
of the thousands of tapestries produced during this extraordinary period and pinnacle of tapestry production, a small
percentage still exist.
Related Literature
Adelson, Candace, European Tapestry in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1994, pp.78-91,, ‘September’ ,
Medallion Months Tapestry, unidentified designer and cartoonist of the circle of/influenced by Bernard van Orley,
unidentified weavers, Brussels, circa 1525-1528, comprehensively discusses this distinctive series (other examples
from the series known in museum collections in Amsterdam, Chicago, New York, Washington), with border types of
similar design, and including compartments in the corners, with a masks in the lower corners and snails symbolising
passage of time in the top borders. It is considered that the designer may have been involved with, amongst others,
the Foundation of Rome series in the Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, cited with reference to comparable compositional
motifs with the present tapestry.
Calberg, M., ‘Episodes de l’histoire de Bethsabee sur un suite de tapisseries bruxelloises du XVIe siècle’, Revue
Belge d’Archeologie et de l’Art, T.XXXV, 1966, no.3-4.
Campbell, Thomas, Tapestry in the Renaissance, Art and Magnificence, Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition,
March-June 2002, Yale University Press 2002, Bernaert van Orley and the Revolution in Netherlandish Tapestry
Design, 1515-41, pp.287-303, for comprehensive discussion the changes in style in tapestry designs in this period,
implemented by this highly influential Northern designer, and to dominate for the next half century.
Campbell, Thomas, Henry VIII and the Art of Majesty: Tapestries at the Tudor Court, Yale University Press, 2007,
Chp.6, pp.103-141, Henry VIII, Purchases and Use of Tapestries, pp.120-121, figs.6.15-6.17, and Chp.10, pp.177-
198, Royal Patronage in the late 1520's, Style and Iconography, pp.177-187, for discussion of Brussels tapestries of
The Story of David, in relation to the set of ten in Château d'Ecouen, and relevance of the theme of King David
Checa, Fernando, Tapisseries Flamandes, Pour les Duc de Bourgogne, l'Empereur Charles Quint et le Roi Philippe II,
Brussels, 2009, Chp.I, l'Epoque des Rois Catholiques et de Marguerite d'Autriche (1480-1530), pp.24-101, and Chp.2,
L'Époque de Charles Quint et de Marie de Hongrie (1500 - 1558), pp.102-211, for discussion of their tapestry
Crick-Kuntziger, Marthe, Eine unveröffentlichteWandteppichfolge von Peter van Edinghen, alias van Aelst, Pantheon,
XVII, 1936, pp.193-198, noting woven signature within clothing, of Aelst and Brvesel on a panel depicting the Bath of
Bathsheba from series David and Bathsheba, circa 1520, Princes of Hohenzollern, Sigmaringen Castle.
Delmarcel, Guy, Flemish Tapestries, London, 1999, Chapter II, The Renaissance, pp.65-207, The dawn of the
Renaissance in Flemish Tapestry, pp.65-85, pg.66, pl. Herkenbald's Miraculous Communion (Royal Museums of Art
and History, Brussels), pg.72, pl. The Last Supper, dated 1516 (Museo d'arte sacra, Camaiore), pg.79, pl.pp.80-81,
David and Bathsheba: David summons Bathsheba to his palace, circa 1510-1516, (Musée National de la
Renaissance, Ecouen).
Delmarcel, Guy, and contributors, Van Tichelen, Isabelle, Volckaert, An, and Maes, Yvan, Golden Weavings Flemish
Tapestries of the Spanish Crown, Exhibition at Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich (March-April 1993), Royal
Manufacturers of Tapestry Gaspard De Wit, Malines (May – June 1993) and the Stichting De Nieuwe Kerk in co-
operation with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (July – August 1993), Malines 1993, receives Bathsheba
in his palace, pp.32-39.
Delmarcel, Guy and de Roo, René, Tapisseries Bruxelloises de la pré-Renaissance, Exposition 22nd Janvier – 7th
Mars 1976, Musees Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, Cat.No.1-10, pp.25-51 Histoire de David et Bethsabée, circa
1515-1525, important set of ten tapestries incorporating metal thread, attributed to Jan van Roome and collaborators,
and attributed to workshop of Pierre d'Enghien and Pierre Van Aelst in collaboration with Pierre de Pannemaker,
(Musée National de la Renaissance, Ecouen)
Fermor, Sharon, The Raphael Tapestry Cartoons, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1996, for comprehensive
discussion of this influential series of the Acts of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, after cartoons by Raphael
(Raffaello Sanzio) 1514-1516, and woven from 1517-1519, Brussels workshop of Van Aelst.
Hartkamp-Jonxis, Ebeltje and Smith, Hillie, European Tapestries in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2004,,
April, Medallion Months Tapestry, Southern Netherlands, Brussels, circa 1525, pp.69-71, with comparable upper and
lower border type, to others in series, for which the designer and weaver are unknown, and thought to be by a painter
from the circle of Van Orley.
Kendrick, A.F., ‘Lord Rochdale’s Tapestries’, Connoisseur, September 1928, pp.10-17, discussed and illustrated the
series, under the traditional identification as the `Marriage of Anne of Britanny’.
Oursel, Hervé, ‘Une Tapisserie de Bruxelles des Annés 1530 au Musée National de la Renaissance à Écouen’, La
Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France, No.3, 2000, pp.43-49., which illustrates the comparable examples from
the St. Louis Art Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum examples.
Steppe, Jan-Karel, Inscriptions décoratives contenant des signatures de des mention du lieu d'origine sur des
tapisseries bruxelloises de la fin du XVe et du début du XVIe siècle, Exhibition Catalogue, Delmarcel, Guy and de
Roo, René, Tapisseries Bruxelloises de la pré-Renaissance, Exposition 22nd Janvier – 7th Mars 1976, Musees
Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, pp.193-230, woven signature within clothing, of Aelst and Brvesel on a panel
depicting the Bath of Bathsheba from David and Bathsheba, Princes of Hohenzollern, Sigmaringen Castle. Aelst
signature is also found on two tapestries of Cavalry from the series the Passion of Christ (Trent and Madrid), pp.216-
Junquera de Vega, Paulina, Herrero Carretero, Concha, Catàlogo de Tapices del Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1986,
Vol. I, Siglio XVI, Serie 3, Historia de David y Betsabe, pp.9-12, Paño I-III, Three tapestries from an earlier series
woven with narrative banderoles in the border, first quarter of 16th century. This set's compositions were used for the
weaving of a set for Henry VIII, with the addition of further figures, to increase the width of the tapestries, such as a
weaving of David and Bathesheba at the fountain, (Hôtel de Ville, Brussels), and Serie 14, Fundacion de Roma,
pp.93-99, Paño I-IV, (woven with subject narrative banderoles in the border).
Wingfield Digby, G.F., The Tapestry Collection – Medieval and Renaissance, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
1980,, pg.46, pl.56, described as A Royal Court, within an identical border type, and with similar
compositional proportions.

Fig. 1

King David sends the Messenger to Bathsheba, Sotheby’s, London,

11th December 1987, lot 65
Fig. 2

A Flemish tapestry, circa 1530, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

(Museum number:88-1896) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 14
CIRCA 1620- 1630
of rectangular form centred by a panel inlaid with a bird on a fruiting branch enclosed by
roundels and geometric motifs flanked on either side by a landscape scene, one with
Orpheus playing a violin seated amongst animals, the other with a figure playing a flute,
each corner inlaid with a baluster vase of amethyst, the whole inlaid with roundels and
geometric motifs in Scilian jasper, lapis lazuli and agates, on a black marble ground
142cm x 96cm; 4ft. 8in., 3ft. 1¾in.

ESTIMATE 150,000-300,000 GBP

Private American Collection
Private English Collection

Comparative Literature:
A. Giusti, in A. Giusti, P. Mazzoni, A. Pampaloni Martelli, Il Museo dell’ Opificio delle pietre dure a Firenze, Milan 1978,
cat. nos. 68/70, pp. 288-9, plates 70-72).
A. Giusti in L’ombra del genio. Michelangelo e l’arte a Firenze 1537-1631, catalogue of the exhibition curated by M.
Chiarini and A. Darr, Florence-Detroit 2002, cat. no 127, pp.265-6.
E. Koch, Pietre Dure and other artistic contacts between the court of the Mugals and that of the Medici, in A Mirror of
Princes, ed. D. Jones, Bombay 1987, p.46 fig.23.
A. Giusti, in U. Baldini, A. Giusti, A. Pampaloni Martelli, La Cappella dei Principi e le pietre dure a Firenze, Milan 1979,
cat. no.110, pp.295-6, plate.168.

Text by: Dr. Annamaria Giusti

Translated by: Emma Bassett

This table top is made from a slab of white marble used as a base and cut in such a way as to leave a raised design
of white outlines which enclose inlaid geometric ornament to form an outer border, the articulated centered cartouche
and the frame around the central pattern of ovals. The four stylised vases at the corners, the two scenes on the
shorter sides of the table and the little bird on a flowering branch at the centre are made a commesso – a technique
using precisely cut and close fitted hard stones. The geometric partition in white marble and the use of jasper is
reminiscent of the iconic Florentine pietre dure intarsia table top,also inlaid with a variety of jaspers, circa 1570-85 in
the Palazzo Pitti, Museo degli Argenti, reproduced here in fig.1.

The vivid polychromatic effect of both the inlays and the commessi results from the use of a variety of stones - most of
which are semi-precious. There are different types of jasper and agate in the geometric ornament as well as the lovely
speckled blue of Persian lapis lazuli which is also used for the vibrant skies of both the scenes. In the corners a single
piece of amethyst has been used for the body of each vase while the handles are of broccatello di Spagna and coral.
Coral is also used amongst the ornament making up the intricate central cartouche. The neck of each vase is
stoppered by an oblong of German agate with attractive concentric rings.

Vases are amongst the most popular motifs chosen by the Florentine mosaicists of the early period and they appear
in a variety of shapes on panels, table tops, wall coverings, altars and other furnishings. Almost all of them are shown
with detailing that recalls the goldsmiths’ mounts which were such a feature of the precious vases – the pride of the
Medici collections of Cosimo I and his sons Francesco and Ferdinando. On this table top the vases are shown
with handles, which in their shape and use of coral, broccatello and chalcedony call to mind those gold and enamels
mounts which can still be seen today on vases produced in the Medici workshops.

Representations of vases first appear on Florentine pietre dure table tops in the late sixteenth century, in a simple
stylised form like those featured in an otherwise purely geometric design on a table top at Aston Hall,
Birmingham. From the early years of the seventeenth century the shape of the vases gradually became more
elaborate, although in most cases the body of the vase cut from a single piece of stone still retained a geometric
appearance. Though monumental in scale, the jasper vases featured on the walls of the Cappella dei Principi are
examples of this type, while vases containing flowers and with a shield-shaped profile quite similar to that seen here,
appear on a pair of small panels made in the early seventeenth century for the altar of the same chapel. (A.
Pampaloni Martelli, in A. Giusti, P. Mazzoni, A. Pampaloni Martelli, Il Museo dell Opificio delle Pietre Dure a Firenze,
Milan, 1978, cat. no. 65 a. B, p.287, plate 69). In the panels and on this table top the same stone, a single piece of
amethyst, is used for the body of the vase and is typical of the ‘palette’ of stones in use in the time of Ferdinand I and
his successor. Its transparency was often exploited by laying a sheet of dark red metal underneath it, which enhanced
the natural violet coloured markings in the stone.
The beautifully executed scenes of commesso work give this table top its distinctively Florentine character, aligning it
perfectly with other work produced by the Galleria dei Lavori in the early decades of the seventeenth century, both in
subject matter and composition as well as in the range of stones employed. Semi-precious hard stones are used
together with softer stones in order to take full advantage of the chromatic possibilities. In particular the scene
showing Orpheus charming the animals includes the clever use of ‘pietra d’Arno’ a limestone typical of the upper
Valdarno. The varied markings of this stone are exploited to suggest the contours of two boulders that frame Orpheus
like pieces of stage scenery, as well as the sheared-off cliff wall which provides a backdrop, whilst the slender trees
just coming into leaf beside the rustic building on the right are in fact represented by the dendritic markings within the
pietra d’Arno itself.

In the other landscape scene a tiny figure playing a flute appears in the distance and the furrowed fields in the
foreground are made up of the undulating striations of Sicilian jasper. The same stone is found in the panels made in
1607-08 for the altar of the Cappella dei Principi (see A. Giusti, in A. Giusti, P. Mazzoni, A. Pampaloni Martelli, Il
Museo dell’ Opificio delle pietre dure a Firenze, Milan 1978, cat. nos. 68/70, pp. 288-9, plates 70-72). These panels
were the earliest to show landscape scenes-a theme which became very popular.

It was not long before landscapes made their appearance on table tops, including the much celebrated table, now lost,
which was sent from the Medici workshops to the Emperor Rudolph II in 1597. As a result of the success of the
Imperial table, Florentine mosaics (pietre dure work) began to be produced in Prague where craftsmen specialised in
landscape subjects. The table with landscapes made in Prague at the Museo degli Argenti in Florence is a wonderful
example of their work and shows landscapes and architectural capricci within a geometric layout. Contact and
exchanges with the Prague workshops which lasted throughout the first quarter of the century probably influenced the
fashion for ‘paesini’–little landscape scenes–in Florence and their use in table top compositions seems particularly
concentrated in this period. The table featured here is a rare example and at least two relevant documents have
emerged from the partial examination of the Medici papers undertaken so far.

In 1611 a table top was being made in the Galleria dei Lavori for Christina of Lorraine ‘dove vanno certi paesini di
commesso inventati da Antonio Francesco Burchielli detto il Rosso’ – ‘in which there will be little scenes in commesso
designed by Antonio Francesco Burchiello, known as il Rosso’. The work was entrusted to three craftsmen (ASF. G.M.
306, c.136). Burchielli does not seem to have been a professional artist, like Poccetti who drew the Tuscan
landscapes for the altar of the Chapel, but rather a specialist in commesso work. It is with this description that he is
recorded working in the first decade of the seventeenth century on the coats of arms for the cities of the Grand Duchy
in the Cappella dei Principi. Another document from 1613 (ASF, Guardaroba medicea 337, cc. 113 and 179) records
that Giovan Battista Sassi, grandson of the Milanese Gaffurri family, who was amongst the most gifted craftsmen of
the grand-ducal workshops was working on a table with ‘paesini’ and ‘corone nelle cantonate’ – crowns in the

We can only speculate that the landscapes on the two lost tables were not too dissimilar to the scenes shown on this
table top, which have quite close links with the prototypes mentioned above for the Cappella dei Principi, both for their
exploitation of the character of the stone as well as in the freshness and delightfully naive compositional and design
elements. The luminous views of Tuscan hills, with rustic dwellings nestling amongst cypress trees are very close to
the landscapes drawn by Bernardino Poccetti at the beginning of the century for the commessi intended for the altar of
the Chapel, even if, in the background of the Orpheus scene, the anonymous artist has managed to insert an
octagonal temple in ruins and a bridge lined with statues, to evoke mythical antiquity. A comparative pietre dure
intarsia panel depicting a Tuscan landscape and showing the façade of San Lorenzo, designed by
Bernardino Poccetti, is in the Museo dell'Opificio delle Pietre dure, Florence and reproduced here in fig. 2.
In spite of the classical origin of the Orpheus story the subject is treated here as a charming pastoral scene, based on
a pictorial model used many times by the Galleria dei Lavori. In the famous cabinet made for Maffeo Barberini around
1620 and now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the figure of Orpheus soothing the animals with his music is
shown on the central door (see also W. Koeppe and A. Giusti, New York 1988, cat. no. 41, pp.265-266). Exactly the
same representation in the same position apppears on the cabinet in the Detroit Museum of Art (see A. Giusti in
L’ombra del genio. Michelangelo e l’arte a Firenze 1537-1631, catalogue of the exhibition curated by M. Chiarini and
A. Darr, Florence-Detroit 2002, cat. no 127, pp.265-6), and on a third cabinet at Chirk Castle in Wales. To these
examples we can now add the scene from this table top, where the only difference, in the depiction of Orpheus
surrounded by the animals and framed by two trees, is the absence of a laurel wreath, which in the three cabinets
crowns the head of the mythical musician. In fact, even the chalcedony with its delicate shades of orange, which in the
table top is used for Orpheus’ robe, is the same type as that used in the New York cabinet.

A fourth version of Orpheus playing music, based on a different and more developed pictorial model, can be seen in
the Throne Room of the Red Fort in New Delhi where together with other Florentine commessi of naturalistic subjects,
it was set into the marble wall covering between 1639 and 1648 (see E. Koch, Pietre Dure and other artistic contacts
between the court of the Mugals and that of the Medici, in A Mirror of Princes, ed. D. Jones, Bombay 1987, p.46

The popularity of Orpheus as a subject in Florentine pietre dure objects made in the Galleria dei Lavori in the first half
of the seventeenth century, was probably due to its use as an allegory of the ‘Pax Medicea’ and the good government
of the Prince. It is significant that, at the beginning of his reign, Cosimo I commissioned a portrait of himself as
Orpheus the Musician. This wonderful painting by Bronzino is now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The legend of Orpheus not only offered a classical model that could be harnessed to the celebration of dynasty but
also the opportunity to set the story in a landscape. This opportunity is fully exploited in the scene on the table top (in
contrast to the cabinet doors where only the principal subject is shown) and is in keeping with the increasing
popularity of landscape in commesso work made in the grand-ducal workshops from the first decade of the
seventeenth century onwards.

The little bird shown with fruit and flowers on a black background in the central oval of the table top is a subject
inspired by the prints of Jacopo Ligozzi whose naturalistic themes were taken up by the Florentine mosaicists and
enjoyed long lasting popularity and widespread use. Here the oval is set within an elegant geometric composition,
which looks back to the work of the earliest Florentine mosaicists. Both the subject matter and the frame show close
similarities with a small table top centered with a parrot on a fruited branch, datable to between 1610 and 1630, which
came from the Villa La Petraia and is now in the Museo dell’Opificio (A. Giusti, in U. Baldini, A. Giusti, A. Pampaloni
Martelli, La Cappella dei Principi e le pietre dure a Firenze, Milan 1979, cat. no.110, pp.295-6, plate.168). A similar
date seems appropriate for the Orpheus table top featured here, especially in view of its compositional framework of
white borders describing a geometrical layout which refers back to the early Florentine mosaics and their Roman
models. Despite its greater complexity, the design of the white border of the central cartouche with its sharp points
and concave lines recalls the distinctive elegance of the Prague table in the Museo degli Argenti which dates from the
late sixteenth century and features geometric ornament and flowers. It would seem that the cartouche enclosing the
Medici coat of arms on the table of alabastro pecorella in the same museum is closer in date.

Fig. 1

Pietre dure table top, Florence, circa 1570-85, Palazzo Pitti, Museo
degli Argenti.
Fig. 2

Pietre dure intarsia panel depicting a Tuscan landscape, designed

by Bernardino Poccetti, Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre dure,
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 15
of cartouche form with a stylised acanthus leaf cresting, the finely worked border with tear-
shaped bands of flowers and leaves, the apron with a stylised scallopshell flanked by c-
scroll sprays, the reverse with a cresting centred by a stylised anthemion flanked by
squirrels blowing horns seated on the back of a barking dog, the sides decorated with
berainesque motifs and squirrels eating fruit, on the right side two figures one in the form
of a minotaur dancing on a plinth, the left side with a seated figure drinking, the other with
his hands submerged in a barrel of water amongst scrolling foliage and flowers, the strut
centred by a female mask surmounted by a fruit-filled cornucopia applied at the base with a
filigree flower, the recessed back panel with a c-scroll cartouche enclosing a female mask
suspending drapery flanked by fruit-filled cornucopuia above a musician in a feathered hat
playing the violin flanked by flaming baluster urns, the whole decorated with scrolling
foliage; some minor losses to filigree
66cm. high, 52cm. wide; 2ft. 2in., 1ft. 8½in.

ESTIMATE 50,000-100,000 GBP

Formerly in an English Collection.

Comparative Literature:
Mogens Bencard, Silver Furniture, Rosenborg, 1992, Copenhagen,1992, p. 55-57, nos 8-11.
Graham Child, World Mirrors, London, 1990, p.180, no. 319, 320 and 320a.
Renate Eikelmann (Hrsg.), Prunkmoebel am Munchner Hof, Bayrisches Nationalmuseum, München, 2011, p.81/82.
Jürgen Ermert, Frühe Uhren mit “Deutschen” Boulle-Gehäusen.Tischuhr mit Carillon von Markwick, London, Teile 1-3,
Klassik Uhren 04/2010, 05/2010, 06/2010.
Henriette Graf and Michael Huey, South German Writing Furniture in the Boulle Technique: Johann Puchwiser (c.
1680-1744) and His Workshop in Munich, The University of Chicago Press, Studies in the Decorative Arts, Vol. I, No. I
(Fall 1993), pp. 49-75.
Danille O. Kisluk-Grosheide, Wolfram Koeppe, William Rieder, European Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Highlights of the Collection, New York, 2006, no. 29, pp. 81-83.
Jorgen Hein, The Treasure Collection at Rosenborg castle, I,The Inventories of 1696 and 1718, Royal Heritage and
Collecting in Denmark-Norway 1500-1900, Copenhagen, 2009, pp. 52, fig. 12.
Peter Hughes, The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture, Vol. II, London,1996, no 150 (F50), pp 711-715.
Paul Hartmann, Miroirs Galeries et cabinets de glaces, Paris, plate 69.
Lund Humphries, Silver Wonders from the East, Filigree of the Tsars, Exhibition Catalogue,2006, St. Petersburg, p.
60, cat. no. 50 and pp. 83-93.
Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst 1541-1868, Germanisches National Museum, Band I, Teil 2, Nürnberg, 2007, p. 984,
no. 740 and p. 740, no. 109.
Jean Nérée Ronfort, André-Charles Boulle 1642-1732, Un nouveau style pour l’Europe, Paris, 2009, p. 361, plate e.
Peter Scherer (Hrsg.) Das Gmündner Schmuckhandwerk bis zum Beginn des XIX Jahrhunderts, Schäbisch Gmünd,
p.1071.Lorenz Seelig, Silver and Gold, Courtly Splendour from Augsburg, Munich, 1995, figs. 42, 48, 50 and 51.
Christopher Wilk, ed.,Western Furniture 1350 to the Present Day in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London,1996, pp.
This exquisitely decorated dressing table mirror with a strut at the back is exceptionally rare as it seems to
be unprecedented to find the combination of première-and contre-partie boulle marquetry with the most delicately
worked silver filigree decoration on the front. At first sight one would perhaps consider it to be French in origin as the
decoration is very much in the manner of the celebrated ornamentalist and designer Jean Berain. However, the mirror
bears many hallmarks certainly in respect of the boulle marquetry which would lead to a possible German
attribution more specifically to Johann Puchwiser (1680-1744) .
The silver filigree decoration:
Silver furniture was an important component in sumptuous French interiors. Nevertheless, Augsburg in Germany was
also an important centre for precious metals and many silver pieces known today originated there. Unlike the furniture
made for Louis XIV, which generally was in solid silver, objects made in Augsburg were in the main made from thin
silver plates over a wooden carcass. The silversmiths of Augsburg were also known to have supplied silver and silver
gilt mounts for the embellishment of luxury objects veneered in ebony, ivory and tortoiseshell as on the offered mirror.
There was a specific group of cabinet-makers in Germany known as Silberschreiner or Silberkistler, who were
engaged in the speciality of veneering furniture with exotic materials such as ivory, tortoiseshell and sometimes semi-
precious stones. This furniture was costly to produce and generally made to order via the intercession of an agent or
Silbhändler who was the middleman between the artist and patron. According to Kisluk-Grosheide et al, op. cit, `The
agents submitted designs for approval to the client, selected the silversmith to whom they supplied the necessary
silver and chose the Silberschriener, who mounted the different elements together on a wooden core.‘ Filigree work by
the Augsburg based goldsmiths such as Johann Jacob Adam (1720-1790), are particularly close to the offered
example, see the intricate flowers on a filigree cup sold by Sotheby’s in Paris, Important Orfèvrerie Européenne,
Boites en Or et Objets de Vitrine, Paris, 18th April 2012, Lot 110 which are very similar to those on the offered piece.
It is worth noting, however, that silver filigree work was produced all over the world not only in Europe but also South
America, Goa and Karim Nagar in India and Batavia, Indonesia from the 16th through to the 18th Century. This makes
it extremely difficult to date and state a definitive origin for these pieces. There is a prayerbook cover with very similar
filigree work illustrated in Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst 1541-1868, the silverwork by Michael Lauffer, circa
1705/1706, p. 984, no. 740 and a casket by Johann Lorenz Wernberger, 1753/1763, p. 740, no. 109. For other
example of German dressing table sets, see Seelig, illustrates op. cit., figs. 42, 48, 50 and 51.Two silver filigree toilet
sets, of Oriental workmanship, which belonged to Catherine the Great, have survived in the Hermitage Collection, the
mirror of one is of a similar shape to the offered one and illustrated by Humphries, op. cit., p. 60, cat. no. 50,
reproduced here in fig.3.
Boulle marquetry and its manufacture in the German States and Johann Puchwiser (1680-1744):
Boulle marquetry was traditionally seen as originating from and solely the monopoly of France. However, the
technique was used in other centres in the Low Countries and the German States and Augsburg was one of the pre-
eminent centres together with Munich and Vienna. The Boulle metal marquetry technique is mostly associated with
the celebrated Parisian cabinet-maker André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), although this method of decorating furniture
and works of art was not invented by him, he was one of the most famous exponents in his day which led to his name
being synonymous with this type of marquetry. See Ronfort, op. cit., p. 361, plate e, from Boulle’s `Nouveaux
Deisseins', circa 1725-1730, for a dressing table mirror which must have inspired the maker of the offered mirror.
Boulle’s design also influenced the maker of a related mirror with a similarly inlaid reverse and strut to that on the
offered mirror, which is attributed to André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) catalogued as French, circa 1713, in the
Wallace Collection, London, no. 150 (F50), illustrated by Hughes, op. cit., pp. 714 and 715, reproduced here in fig. 1.
The design of the première–partie marquetry on the back is in the manner of engravings by Jean Bérain (1640-1711),
who in 1674 was appointed Dessinateur de la Chamber et du Cabinet du Roi.
However, cabinet-makers in German speaking regions were inspired by the circulation of prints from abroad. In the
17th and 18th centuries Augsburg became a centre for engraving and engravings after Jean Berain (see post) were
done `à la goût moderne' by Paul Decker (1677-1713), Jonas Drentwett and Johann Jakob Biller (d. 1723). The
mirror's shape takes inspiration from engravings for frames by Hieronymous Bolmann and Jacques Bellay and Juste
Aurèle Meissonnier published by Gabrile Huquier. Jean Berain (1638/9-1711), was one of the most influential French
architects and designers whose decorative style was disseminated across Europe, and other Augsburg publishers
sold copies of Berain’s designs during the late 17th and early 18th century. In addition, according to Kisluk-Grosheide
et al, op. cit, `..many German silversmiths had spent several years of training abroad, often in Paris, and foreign
journeymen came to work in Augsburg, stimulating the exchange of ideas and adoption of new styles’.
Dressing table mirrors were designed to rest upon a table supported by a strut at the back. They were extremely
highly regarded according to Graham Child, op. cit, p. 181, and may well have been transported in cases made
specially for them. It has been suggested that the adjustable Toilet-Glass was a French invention since they first
appear in early 17th century French domestic interiors-see for example an engraving by Abraham Bosse in La Vue.
Child illustrates, op. cit., in plates 319, 320 and 320a, two dressing table mirrors inlaid on the reverse which he states
ar typical of Bérain’s work. Also see lot 998, sold from the Collection of the Duke of Hamilton, Christie’s London, 17th-
19th June 1882, where a similar brass inlaid and tortoiseshell toilet-mirror to the offered example is illustrated, the
reverse of which is similarly inlaid to the offered one with fruit-filled tapering baskets, seated squirrels, eating fruit,
butterflies, rinceaux and a female mask in a stylised feathered headdress catalogued as `A TOILET GLASS, in
shaped Louis XIV frame, by Buhl, designed by Berain…’, the reverse of which is reproduced here in fig. 1. Finally
Hartmann, op. cit,., illustrates a strut inlaid similarly to that on the offered mirror, in plate 69.
The Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian II Emanuel (1662-1726) developed a liking for French taste and upon returning to
his own court in Munich in 1715, he set out to gather the finest craftsmen of the German speaking world at his court.
Very few of them are recorded by name which makes research into the furniture of the Bavarian court extremely
difficult. However, due to recent discoveries by the Bavarian National Museum and the scholar Dr. Max Tillmann,
Johann Puchwiser( (1680-1744) ) stands out especially.
Several features on the mirror can also be found on other recorded works by Puchwiser including a commode with
boulle marquetry attributed to him with the same fluid scrolling foliage, musicians, squirrels and
masks. Puchwiser's creativity and free flowing style combines traditional Germanic figures as well as grotesque motifs
with ornaments and strapwork much in the manner of Jean Berain's designs. In his introductory letter to the Elector
Max Emanuel in Munich he described himself as being` capable of marquetry of the finest standard as was being
practised in Vienna’.
The years between 1704 and 1715 were extremely hard for the artists working at the court in Munich as their elector
was in exile in Paris. Administration was taken over by the Emperor of Austria and the court was dispersed, partly to
Carinthia, in part also to Paris. Puchwiser was relieved of his duties at the Munich Court in 1705, but had already not
been paid for the previous year. When the Elector returned in 1715, he was reinstated as royal cabinet-maker to Max
Emanuel. He seems to have made several pieces decorated in marquetry before Max Emanuel's exile as these were
recorded on the lists of furniture sent to the Netherlands. The furniture on these lists are not identifiable today. It is
believed that Puchwiser was the only cabinetmaker at the time who possessed the capabilities to execute boulle
marquetry to this fine level in Munich which leads to the suspicion many more pieces unidentified to this date are also
by his hand. It is during this period of exile that he would have been accustomed to making furniture in the Austrian
taste as he was completely reliant on the Viennese court for commissions. It is also possible that he underwent some
training at the Viennese court during this period.
It is assumed that for economic reasons Puchwiser would have reused the same Berain prints over and over again,
but fitting them together in ever new ways. From the records it is also proven that he referred to himself as a “
Galanterie-Kistler”, which alludes to the contemporary meaning of gallant, meaning in the style/ imitation of the
French. He also almost certainly new the new engravings after Jean Berain published by Joseph Friedrich Leopold
and Jeremias Wolff in 1703 in Augsburg.

Fig. 1

Mirror formerly in the Hamilton Palace Collection

Fig. 2

Mirror, Wallace Collection London, No 150(F50)

Fig. 3

Silver, filigree, toilet mirror, 1740-1750, Hermitage Museum

Fig. 4

Design by Meissonnier published by Huquier

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 16
CIRCA 1735
of rectangular form centred by a cartouche depicting a vignette of an Italian town within a
border with a cartouche on either side with a battle scene en grisaille after Antonio
Tempesta (1555-1630), flanked by seated female sphinxes with baskets of flowers on their
heads on tasselled drapery amongst strapwork, scrolling foliage, flowers and butterflies,
each end with a scrolled cartouche with fruit-filled cornucopia flanking a mask issuing from
a sunburst motif above a bird, each angle with a roundel with amber fragments surmounted
by a stylised scallopshell suspending leafy swags issuing from scrolled corbels, on a black
slate ground, on a modern neo-classical ivory painted carved wooden base; the frieze
carved with guilloche enclosing flowerheads, on stop-fluted tapering legs joined by a
shaped stretcher carved with guilloche on toupie feet (not illustrated)
top 144 cm. by 71cm; base 76cm. high, 148cm. wide, 74cm. deep; 4ft. 8¾in., 2ft. 4in; 2ft.6in.,
4ft. 10¼in., 2ft. 5¼in.

ESTIMATE 100,000-150,000 GBP

José María Padierna de Villapadierna y Avecilla, 3rd Conde de Villapadierna
Private collection of a Spanish Marquis

Comparative Literature:
Jonathan Cook, Confections of Colour, Antique Dealers and Collectors Guide, June 1998, pp. 36-45.
G. Manni, I Maestri della scagliola in Emilia Romagna e Marche, Rome, 1997.
Anna Maria Massinelli, Scagliola L’Arte della Pietra di Luna, Modena, 1997, pp. 22-25.
This magnificent scagliola table top, although unsigned, can certainly be attributed to Pietro Antonio Paolini the
Tuscan scagliolist. This is due to a number of features that it shares with other works either signed and dated by him
or attributed to him, of which there are few recorded. This rare top is inset with amber fragments a feature only found
on Paolini’s work and he also employed the technique of reproducing engravings and prints in black and white
depicting mythological and other scenes together with paintings by various artists such as those in the cartouches.
It is worthwhile considering an almost identical top sold by Sotheby’s, Noseley Hall, Leicestershire, 28th and 29th
September 1998, which was on a George II base (£210,000), reproduced here in fig. 1.The top had been
commissioned by Sir Arthur Hesilrige, 7th Bt. (1708-1763) who went on a Grand Tour in 1723-24, visiting Florence,
Rome, Parma and Venice in the company of Captain Pain. It stated in the catalogue that it belonged to an interesting
group of early 18th century Tuscan scagliole depicting coastal scenes and harbour views which were much praised
during the 18th century especially ones attributed to Don Enrico Hugford (1695-1771) of Vallombrosa, near Florence.
There was no documentary evidence for attributing that top, although it had the monogrammed initials H.P
corresponding perhaps to `Hugford Presbiter’ the Latin word for Priest. The fact that the central vignette on the offered
table top and the Noseley Hall one are almost identical would suggest that they were never conceived as a pair. The
offered table top is inset the amber fragments at the angles whereas the Noseley Hall table top has painted
cartouches and the former top is decorated with more luxuriant foliage and flowers and is in different colour
The rarity of this stunning scagliola top attributed to Paolini is emphasised by the fact that there are known to date
only four other signed scagliola tops by him:

-A table top dedicated to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, now in the Museo del Argenti, Palazzo Pitti, Florence, signed `
Petrus Antonio Paolini fecit liburni Anno MDCCXXXII’ (1732), dedicated to `A sua Altezza Reale il Gran Duca di
Toscana’, illustrated by J. Cook, op. cit., p. 36, fig. 1. It is decorated with a trompe l’oeil with a plan of a military
strategist of a Barcelona fortress, a violin and a bow, a bird on a fruiting branch and a butterfly, an Old Master drawing
and roses, (Inv. Mobili Artistici n. 1499). See the catalogue of the exhibition at Palazzo Pitti in 1974 `Gli ultimi Medici: il
tardo barocco a Firenze, 1670-1743’.
-A table top inscribed `Petrus Antonius de Paulinus fecit Lourni 1737’ sold Phillips, London, lot 206, 23rd April 1996.
reproduced here in fig. 2. Jonathan Cook op. cit., p. 37, discovered this top which is decorated with flowers, fruit and
masks with swags and reserves of marble fragments. The central oval is delineated by `marbled lines’ and features `
David standing over the body of Goliath’ by Titian. This was taken from a series of ceiling paintings of Old Testament
subjects in the sacristy of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice and painted by Titian between 1543 and 1544.
-A table top inscribed `Petrus Antonius Paulini fecit ‘ but undated, sold in these Rooms, 25thMay 2001, lot
37 (£130,000). It had formerly been in the collection of John Gilbert Winant (1889-1947), United States Ambassador
to Great Britain 1941-1946. It had similar amber fragments contained within a roundel flanked by berried laurel to that
on this table top and the treatment of some of the fruits, sprigs of berried laurel and nasturtium heads and identical
blooms such as morning glory is so similar that both table tops must be by the same hand. The central subject matter
on the Winant table top is a copy of the Teniers painting in the Prado Museum, Madrid.
-The scagliola tops signed `Petrus Antonius de Paulinus fecit', on a pair of George I gilt-gesso pier tables, known as
the 'Treby tables', with amber fragments of smaller dimensions in the reserves, cartouches depicting harbour scenes
and figures, and with a central engraved decoration, one of which depicting 'David and Goliath' and sold Christies
London, 28th November 2002, lot 50.
Other comparable scagliola tops attributed to Paolini include:
-A related top attributed to Paolini, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, (inv. W 6-1933) reproduced here in fig.
3, on a contemporary giltwood base. It was made in Leghorn in 1726 for Ditchley Park, seat of the 2nd Lord Litchfield.
Although not signed, it has similar scrollwork, fruit, flowers and birds and cartouches inlaid with amber and aventurine
and painted vignettes conceived in similar vein to those on this top. It is centred by the arms of the 2nd Earl of
Litchfield, George Henry Lee, and two oval vignettes decorate the sides, one with a view of Roman ruins, the other a
harbour scene depicting the ship with a red flag flying of the brother of Lord Litchfield, Admiral Fitzroy Lee, who wrote
to his brother from Leghorn, `I have seen this morning your table which is entirely finished only the arms and
supporters which I wrote to you of ten months ago and you have not seen them yet, which is a great pity for I am sure
that it will be the finest sort in Europe’.
-a top very similar to the first signed example, mentioned above, although unsigned, sold in these Rooms, 22nd May
1987, lot 59 (unattributed at that time), but almost certainly by Paolini. It is of serpentine outline and decorated with
musical instruments, sheet music, a patch box decorated with harlequin, roses and butterflies.
- a table top attributed to Paolini, illustrated by Massinelli, op. cit., p. 22, fig. 9, of oval form centred by a bird atop a
basket of fruit within a border of figures, masks and scrolling foliage, on black ground, now in a Private Collection.
-a table top on a commode, previously at Chesham Park, Henfield, Sussex, sold by Christie’s, on the premises at
Chesham Park on 18th-19th April 1977, lot 182, the present whereabouts of which are unknown. In the opinion of
Cook, op. cit., it may well be attributable to Paolini. The top with its serpentine outline with rounded corners is the
same shape as the one sold in these Rooms in 1987-(see ante), although of slightly differing dimensions and it is
possible that they were conceived as a pair.
-a table top attributed to Paolini on a base decorated with scagliola imitating pietre dure, illustrated by Massinelli, op.
cit., p. 24, figs, 11-11c, now in the Canelli Collection, Milan.
-a top with a composition similar to the one owned by the Grand Duke of Tuscany (see ante), depicting a map of Lille,
a violin, bow and other items, was in the George Malcolm Collection at Duntrune Castle, Argyll, Scotland (see A.
Coleridge, `Don Petro’s Table-tops; Scagliola and grand Tour clients’, Apollo, 1996, pp. 184-187.)
Pietro Antonio Paolini:
Pietro Antonio Paolini was born in Lucca and active in the first half of the 18th century but there is scant information
on his life. Nothing is known about his apprenticeship which was probably in one of the monasteries on the outskirts of
Florence. His presence is also recorded in Livorno. Furthermore, the exceptional quality of the Uffizi top suggests that
he had direct contact with the Grand Duke’s Court.
The representation in scagliola of geographical maps, sheets of music and trompe l’oeil effects were common in
Tuscany in the early decades of the 18th century. Tuscan scagliolarists employed the use of botanical and musical
motifs in the table tops which were commissioned by their wealthy patrons. Pietro Antonio Paolini was one of the
foremost exponents of this art of trompe l’oeil scagliola, one of the famous commissions of his being the top executed
for the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1732-(see ante).
Characteristic of Paolini’s work is his mixture of techniques of scagliola with pietre dure and mother-of-pearl and
amber fragments as on the present top. His work represents the pinnacle of Tuscan scagliola in terms of technique
and the process of the pictorial school. His inspiration is most likely to have come from the 17th and 18th century
publications of coloured engravings after artists such as Jacob Van Huysum (1687-1740), Peter Casteels (1684-1749)
and Johann Jakob Walther (1604-1671). On the offered top, the depiction of engravings are after Antonio Tempesta
(1555-1630), one of which is reproduced here in fig. 4. He was an Italian painter, draughtsman and printmaker whose
work was very popular in Northern Europe and he was born and trained in Florence as a pupil of Santi di Tito (1536-
1603) and Joannes Stradanus (1523-1605) before working with Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) on the Palazzo Vecchio.
He is perhaps best known for his battle and mythological scenes.
The scagliola technique:
This technique has been used since Roman times initially to imitate marble and later pietre dure. It is composed of
pulverised selenite from the Appennini Mountains in Emilia and Tuscany, called lapis specularis or pietre di luna,
which is then ground down and mixed with lime. This mixture is then placed on to a stone support and inlaid with a
composition of coloured scagliola and graphite. The use of botanical and musical motifs by the Tuscan scagliolist
appealed to the English Grand Tourist of the 18th century, who collected Italian artefacts with a passion on these
Grand Tours.
The Counts of Villapadierna:
They came from an old lineage of the Order of Santiago and Calatrava Knights, from the Spanish region of León and
the House of Quirós. They had been lords since the reconquest of the Villapadiernas’castle, lieutenants of the fleet of
the Admiral of Castilla and Governors of Tierra de Campos. The family had made careers in the army, the Church,
politics, the world of sport, as well as being patrons of writers and artists.
The Villapadierna Palace, situated at no. 10 Goya Street was demolished in 1868, during the nineteenth-century
expansion of Madrid. In Villanueva del Campo, there is the House of Padierna; in the centre of León, the House of
Villapadierna; in Herrera del Duque the countryside mansion in Cíjara; in the village of Villapadierna its castle; and on
the outskirts of Oviedo, in Olloniego, the castle of Quirós.
One of the most distinguished members of this family was José María Padierna of Villapadierna and Avecilla (1909-
1979) who would inherit, amongst other properties, the palaces of Villapadierna and Linares, two of the most
emblematic architectural properties of 19thcentury Madrid. Moreover, he inherited a vast fortune and became a
charismatic and outstanding personality of the 1920’s, dedicated to car and horse racing, so much so that he
managed to spend three inheritances indulging in these past times. Fascinated in the 1920’s by the new sport of car
racing, he raced for Ferrari and built up the motor-racing team of Villapadierna, with which he competed in the
Spanish Grand Prix and on the Monaco racing circuit. He was also a keen horseman and created the Villapadierna
stable which made history on Spanish turf. He was also fond of bullfighting and a close friend of Manuel Laureano
Rodríguez Sánchez (1917-1947), better known as Manolete, a Spanish bullfighter as well as Antonio Bienvenida who
was one of the most famous bullfighters during the 1960-70's. He introduced celebrities such as Gary Cooper, Orson
Welles, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth and Porfirio Rubirosa to the bullfighting scene and he enjoyed almost mythical
status in Spanish society of the mid 20th century.
After the war the Villapadierna Palace was expropriated and converted into an Institute and was later demolished. As
a result a large part of the Villapadierna’s collection entered into other Spanish aristocratic collections, as was the
case for the table top offered here which was bought by another Spanish Marquis. It would remain in the collection of
this noble family by descent until entering the collection of the present owner.

Fig. 1

Top sold Noseley Hall, Leicestershire, sold Sotheby’s London 28

September 1998, lot 76

Fig. 2

Top sold Phillips, London, 23 April 1996, lot 206

Fig. 3

Top © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Fig. 4

Engraving by Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630)

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 17
the arched cresting with a sunburst motif above a later oval mirror plate within a lunette
cast border surmounted by an eagle amongst clouds with foliate trails, with a jasper
ground within an engraved leaf cast border, the apron cast with a stylised scallopshell
flanked by c-scrolls and sprays of palm leaves above a female mask with plaits terminating
in a tassel and scallopshell with a scrolled cartouche; the back with handwritten label in ink
` Sig Princip Cellamare' and the printed inv. no 223; originally a Devotional piece
66cm. high, 38cm. wide, 6cm. deep; 2ft. 2in., 1ft. 3in., 2½in.

ESTIMATE 70,000-100,000 GBP

Formerly in the Collections of Principi Cellamare, Naples

Comparative Literature:
Massimo Pisani, Palazzo Cellamare, cinque secoli di civiltà napoletana, Electa Naples, 2003.
A related design for a frame by G. Giardini (1646-1721) which is conceived in a similar spirit with scrolls, scallopshells
and oak leaves as on the present frame is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, reproduced here in fig.
The Cellamare Family:
Nicolò (1587-1681), first prince of Cellamare was originally from Genoa and then went to Naples. His son Domenico
(1637-1724), second prince of Cellamare and second Duke of Giovinazzo had a son called Antonio (1657-1733), who
was born in Naples and brought up in the Court of Spain where his father was in attendance. Domenico, has
been Treasurer during the reign of the Spanish in Naples and the Spanish ambassador to the Duke of Savoy and
French and Portuguese Kings. Antonio acquired the palace in 1696 for 18,000 ducats and immediately set about
ambitious building works by the architect Antonio Picchiatti (1617-1694) which resulted in the grandiose building that
exists today.
In May 1715, Antonio was summoned to Paris to be the ambassador for the Spanish crown at exactly the same time
when the question of the succession of Louis XIV arose.The Duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV, became King of
Spain and wanted to resieze power as Louis XIV had declared in his will. As ambassador of Spain, Antonio del
Giudice Cellamare helped him and organised a plan which failed. He had three children with Anna Camilla Borghese:
Angelo was born in 1694 and died in the same year, Nicola (1696-1725), who did not have any children and Costanza
(1697-1770) who married Francesco Caracciolo, Prince of Villa S. Maria in 1722.

Fig. 1

Design for a frame by G. Giardini (1646-1721, © Metropolitan

Museum of Art, New York

Fig. 2

Printed inventory label

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 18
with a rectangular top within an everted border with a gilt-bronze acanthus clasp at each
corner above a frieze drawer and recessed kneehole above a concave flap opening to
reveal a recess flanked by three drawers on later cabriole legs terminating in gilt-bronze
block feet on brass castors, the rear inlaid in fruitwood and amaranth on an ebony ground,
the whole decorated with scrolls, foliage, bellflowers, female masks and geometric motifs
within strapwork reserves
84cm high, 121cm wide, 70cm deep; 2ft 9in., 3ft. 11½in., 2ft. 3½in.

ESTIMATE 80,000-120,000 GBP

Almost certainly acquired by either George, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1746-1816) also known as Earl Brooke of Warwick
Castle or his son Henry Richard Greville, 3rd Earl of Warwick (1779-1853), for Warwick Castle, Warwickshire.
Thence by descent with the Earls of Warwick until sold by the Trustees of the Warwick Castle Settlement, Christie’s,
London, 20th May 1968, lot 81, described as a `Louis XIV Mazarin.. in the manner of A.C. Boulle and stamped I.
Dubois ..who probably restored this piece during the 18th century’
The Property of a Lady

31st October 1853 inventory (WRO CR 1886/Box 783/16) carried out by William Kendall, lists in the East Sitting Room
`A Buhl Desk’, which may well refer to the offered bureau, see fig. 1.
Also see the Heirlooms at Warwick Castle,1900 (WRO CR 1886 / BOX 708), reproduced here in fig. 2.
In the Gilt Drawing Room, (removed from the Cedar Room):
"4ft Red Buhl writing desk inlaid brass and white metal 7 drawers under", reproduced here in fig. 3.
This appears to be the most likely description for the offered bureau mazarin; the width and configuration of the
drawers as well as the type of brass and white metal inlay all suggest a close match. The principal boulle pieces
acquired in the early 19th century were largely concentrated in the Cedar Room, and this desk was located there
before the inventory noted its relocation to the Gilt Drawing Room.
There is a collection of watercolour views of Warwick Castle, circa 1911, by W. W. Quatremain, one of which is of the
Cedar Drawing Room at Warwick Castle, illustrating the boulle furniture, with what appears to be the bureau in the
background, reproduced here in fig. 4.

Comparative Literature:
Peter Fuhring, Designs for and after Boulle Furniture, The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXXXIV, no. 1071, June 1992,
pp. 350-362.
Alexandre Pradère, French Furniture Makers, The Art of the ébéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution, Tours,1989,
pp. 63-65.
Jean Nérée Ronfort, André-Charles Boulle 1642-1732, Un nouveau style pour l’Europe, Paris, 2009.
Jean Piere Samoyault, André-Charles Boulle et sa Famille, Paris, 1979, p. 122 item
Peter Thornton, Seventeenth–Century Interior Decoration in England, France & Holland, London,1978, fig. 31.
Louis XIV faste et Décors Mai-Octobre, 1960, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre-Pavillon de Marsan,Pl.
XXXIII, no. 78.
We would like to thank Martin Snape and Dr Christine Hodgetts for their assistance regarding the Warwick Castle
The attribution to Alexandre–Jean Oppenordt (1639-1715):
The exceptional quality of the marquetry inlay in brass, pewter and tortoiseshell on this bureau Mazarin is almost
certainly by the celebrated and supremely talented ébéniste ordinaire du roi, Alexandre–Jean Oppenordt. It is rare to
find a bureau in three tone marquetry which includes brass, pewter and tortoiseshell, more commonly this type of
marquetry is in brass and tortoiseshell. What is intriguing however, is the stamp of I Dubois on this desk, a restorer’s
stamp from the mid 18th century, when the desk was probably restored by him and the legs brought into line with the
prevailing taste at that time. It is no coincidence that one of the most outstanding ébenistes of the middle years of the
18th century, Jacques Dubois, took it upon himself to restore an early 18th century piece and add more fashionable
rococo legs, which, even later on in that century would have been recognised as a tour de force in the employment of
exotic and precious materials combined with outstandingly skilled ébénisterie confirming that metal inlaid boulle
furniture was highly prized throughout the 18th century.
The attribution of this bureau Mazarin to Oppenordt can be made on the basis of its striking similarities to other pieces
known to be by or attributed to him. Attributions to this maker are often made on the basis of their similarity to a
celebrated bureau brisée, belonging to Louis XIV and delivered on 25th July 1685 for 240 livres which is now in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. 1986. 365.3), reproduced here in fig. 5. The similarity of the top on the
Metropolitan bureau to that on the present piece can be seen in the geometric framework of the design, fluidity of the
rinceaux, husk trails and scrolls. What is most noticeable is that in both the Metropolitan bureau's top and the top of
this bureau is the double symmetrical composition of both right and left sides flanking the central design. In addition,
the design subtly imitates ironwork.
Furthermore, there is the profuse use of the trefoil motif which on the Metropolitan bureau is incorporated into a fleur
de lis at the angles and below the initials. It is also worth noting that the boulle design runs along the curved edge of
the bureau in both examples. One should also compare the design of the parquet with tortoiseshell and brass
marquetry from the Swedish Royal Coach made in 1696 by the menuisier du roi certainly Oppenordt, after designs by
Jean Berain at a cost of 600 L (Royal Palace , Stockholm), illustrated by Pradère, op. cit., p. 65, fig. 11.
Another strikingly similar piece in terms of the design of the top, is an important commode in brass and tortoiseshell
attributed to Oppenordt, sold lot 63, Sotheby’s, Paris, 23rd March 2006 (360,000E). The top is very similar to that on
this bureau with a central reserve flanked on either side by a symmetrical design of rinceaux, husks and scrolling
foliage within a geometric strapwork framework, the top of which is reproduced here in fig. 6. It was attributed to
Oppenordt on the basis of similarity with the top of the bureau brisée in the Metropolitan Museum (see ante).
It is also worthwhile comparing the marquetry on the door of a pair of cabinets in Stratfield Saye, Hampshire, ancestral
home of the Duke of Wellington since 1817, with the marquetry on the top of this bureau, which is very similar in
conception with strapwork, rinceaux and a quatrelobed reserve with a foliate motif in the centre reproduced here in
fig. 7. The aforementioned cabinets by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) reflects the homage paid by him to his elder
contemporary, Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt, even though the Boulle is erroneously regarded as the prime innovator of
metal inlay on furniture, due in no small part to the extensive publications of his designs and much larger workshop
than Oppenordt. Samoyault, op. cit., p. 122, list the inventory after Boulle's death as containing at item 25, `Une
portefeuille de paysages colorés de Van Hude, Monières, Mouffetar, Oppenor et Inselin, prisées...', which would
seem to confirm that Boulle owned landscapes by Oppenordt. Boulle may well have also had designs by the by him
and Fuhring op. cit., p. 357, states that one artist who worked for Boulle was Gilles-Marie Oppenordt (1685-1742), the
son of Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt, which may have influenced Boulle in the design of the marquetry on the Stratfield
Saye cabinet (see ante).

The form of ths type of bureau mazarin in boulle marquetry on cabriole legs is very rare but one should consider a 17
th century bureau in boulle marquetry with cabriole legs, conceived in a similar vein to this bureau, illustrated in Louis

XIV faste et Décors Mai-Octobre, 1960, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre-Pavillon de Marsan, illustrated
Pl. XXXIII, no. 78, stated then to be in the collection of Baron de Rédé, reproduced here in fig. 8. A related bureau
brisé attributed to Pierre Gole in pewter and brass contre-partie boulle marquetry on later cabriole legs, sold, lot 51,
Christie’s, 13th June 1991. It is conceived in a similar vein to the offered bureau although the marquetry is more fluid
and lacks strapwork cartouches on the top, but there are similar masks on the top to those upon this bureau.
The other exceedingly rare feature of this bureau is the back exquisitely veneered with various woods in foliate
marquetry, which obviously implies that the bureau was intended to be placed in the centre of a room. There is a
precedent though extremely rare for boulle bureau mazarin's to be veneered on the back as they were more often
than not left plain as they were intended to be placed against a wall so that the reverse was never on view.
The other comparable piece, although the marquetry is far less sophisticated and the quality of its execution is
inferior, is a Louis XIV brass inlaid red tortoiseshell boulle marquetry bureau mazarin supplied by Thomas
Chippendale, which was offered for sale Christie’s, Dumfries House, Vol. I, 12th July 2007, lot 53. The back of the
Chippendale bureau is very simply veneered in parquetry with a diaper motif within a square flanked by an oblong
reserve in ebony on a walnut ground. The existence of this bureau would seem to indicate that the leading cabinet-
makers of the day in both France and England, namely Dubois and Chippendale, were instrumental in
making furniture made by outstanding French ébénistes from the late 17th/early 18th century more fashionable. It is
recorded that Thomas Chippendale supplied the `French commode-dressing-table’ or bureau Mazarin in 1759. The
use of a bureau Mazarin as a dressing table as Chippendale probably intended for the Dumfries example, is
demonstrated in an engraving illustrated by Thornton, op. cit., fig, 31. (Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris). In Christophe
Gilbert’s note to the Dumfries bureau Mazarin he states that the legs are more characteristic of mid 18th century
styles, as G. de Bellaigue has pointed out and it is therefore possible that Chippendale reconstructed the commode
much in the same way that Dubois altered the legs on the offered bureau Mazarin. Gilbert, also states `The most
remarkable item which Lord Dumfries bought from Chippendale was `a French Commode inlaid wt Tortoiseshell &
brass £15.15s'. Another boulle bureau mazarin with a marquetry back in various woods is in a Private British
In conclusion therefore, this magnificent and extremely rare example of early 18th century three coloured boulle
marquetry on a bureau mazarin with a back also veneered with sophisticated wooden marquetry, can only have been
made by a contemporary and equal of André-Charles Boulle and the name of Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt is the
obvious candidate as the author of this piece. The exquisite quality and skill employed in the marquetry and the
striking similarity to other pieces by Oppenordt strongly support an attribution to this maker.
Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt (1639-1715):
Born in the Dutch city of Gueldre in 1639, Oppenordt relocated to Paris in 1668. In 1684, he initially installed himself in
the privileged Temple quartier of Paris where he was able to practice his craft without entering into the restrictive world
of guilds and corporations. In 1684, he then secured himself lodgings in the ‘Galeries du Louvre’ which allowed him to
remain there for life, along with the title of ‘ébéniste ordinaire du roi.’ However, he left in 1701 and preferred to retire
from 1684 onwards to the house at Champfleury which belonged to King Louis XVI. The years that immediately
followed this appointment saw the creation of some of Oppenordt’s most celebrated pieces for Versailles. In 1683, he
was paid 3,600 livres for `twelve marquetery cabinets which he made for his Majesty’s medals at 300 livres each’.
These cabinets were installed in Versailles in niches in the Cabinet des Curiosités also called the Cabinet des
Médailles and were complimented by a sumptuous bureau (for the sum of 6,500 livres) and four other cabinets in
In 1685, Oppenordt was paid 240 livres `for compartments made for two bureaux for His Majesty’s Petit Cabinet’.
These were probably the marquetry panels made for a bureau identified as from Louis XIV’s Cabinet de la Poudre at
Versailles (now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York-see ante)
Between 1684 and 1686, Oppenordt made the parquet for Louis XIV’s Petit Galerie at Versailles. He also worked for
Louvois during these years making two pietre deure cabinets for him which are recorded and a drawing by Berain for
a cabinet in pietre dure with the arms of Louvois confirms the collaboration between Berain and Opppenordt. Berain is
recorded as using his team of craftsmen for ebinesterie commissions that he had received. Two works designed by
Berain can be attributed to Oppenordt: the sarcophagus commode in the Wallace collection after engravings by
Berain and the flooring in tortoiseshell marquetry of the royal coach in Stockholm made in Paris in 1696. According to
Pradere, op. cit., p. 64, `in both cases the composition of the marquetry, made of small arabesques delineated by
bandwork,is very different from Boulle’s’. Oppenordt was very close to Colbert de Villacerf who was superintendent
for the `Batîments du Roi' from 1691 to 1699. After spending three months in Paris in 1687, Nicholas Tessin le Jeune
(1654-1728), a Swedish architect who recommended only two makers and states about Oppenordt's cabinets, tables
etc `Openo (Oppenordt) is a maker..for the King but also for private clients. He can make state-of the art cabinets,
tables and other items. As his furniture is well done, he earns a lot of money as well'. He managed to leave his son the
equivalent of £62, 500 in 1701, a considerable sum at that time. His apprentices were Charles Gallois, his cousin
Tilman Brockman and Etienne Gouet. In 1694, Oppenordt made a pilgrimage to Italy and he died in 1715. Gilles-Marie
Oppenord, A-J Oppenordt’s son, went on to work with André Charles Boulle and to become a successful designer and
architect in his own right.
Jacques Dubois (1693-1763):
He was received Master in 1742 and was one of the most important ébénistes of the Louis XV period. His furniture
was of outstanding quality and he produced luxury furniture in the main comprising secrétaires and bureaux in
Chinese and Japanese lacquer. He was equally specialist in restoring Boulle marquetry pieces. One can also find his
stamp on other boulle pieces which he had restored: a boulle marquetry console sold Christie's Monaco, Akram Ojjeh
Collection, 11th December 1999, lot 45; see lot 72, sold in these Rooms, 7th December 2000, for a pair of boulle
marquetry pedestals, circa 1710-20, attributed to André-Charles Boulle, both stamped I. Dubois; a pair of boulle
marquetry console tables attributed to André-Charles Boulle stamped Dubois, sold Christie’s, Monaco, 11th-12th
December 1999, lot 45.At the end of the inventory drawn up after his death, there is listed a very large stock of gilt-
bronze mounts-432livres pesant de modeles de bronze, prises 1 080 L-which according to Pradère op. cit., would
indicate that Dubois was anxious to protect the exclusivity of his bronze models and stocked large quantities of
unchased mounts which he had available for use on his furniture.
The 2nd and 3rd Earls of Warwick and Warwick Castle, Warwickshire:
Warwick Castle was described by Sir Walter Scott as `the fairest monument of ancient and chivalrous splendour which
yet remains uninjured by time.’
This bureau Mazarin was once part of the renowned boulle collection which had been assembled by George, 2nd Earl
of Warwick (1746-1816) and his son Henry Richard, 3rd Earl of Warwick (1779-1853) at Warwick Castle.
George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick was a nobleman and politician known as Lord Greville until 1773. He went to
Eton from 1753 to 1754 and Christ Church Oxford for his degree and also matriculated from Edinburgh University. He
became a member of the Royal Society in 1767 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries in 1768 and was a
member of parliament for Warwick between 1768 and 1773 and from 1770-74 he was appointed to the Board of
Trade. In 1771, he married the Hon. Georgina Peachey, the daughter of James Peachey, 1st Baron Selsey, and they
had one son Henry Greville. He was Recorder of Warwick from 1773-1816 and Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire 1795-
1816. The 2nd Earl bankrupted himself in 1802 due to his passion for collecting and profligate spending on works of
art. He was known for collecting boulle furniture, pietre dure tables, works of art and the celebrated Warwick vase from
his uncle Sir William Hamilton.
Henry Greville, 3rd Earl of Warwick (1779-1853) was a British Tory politician. He was by George’s second wife,
Henrietta and was educated at Winchester. He entered Parliament in 1802 and held the seat until he inherited the
Earldom from his father in 1816. He served as Lord-in-Waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) from 1841 to
1846 in the second Tory administration of Sir Robert Peel. Henry was also a Recorder of Warwick between 1816 and
1835, Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire between 1822 and 1853 and Lord of the Bedchamber between 1828 and
1830. In 1827, he was appointed Knight of the Thistle. He was also Lord in Waiting 1841-46. He married Lady Sarah
Elizabeth daughter of John Savile, 2nd Earl of Mexborough and widow of John Monson, 4th Baron Monson, in 1816.
The 3rd Earl was less extravagant than his father George, and he extended the collection purchasing ebony furniture
with sumptuous inlay and works of art. The state rooms were filled with works of art listed by Kendall.
The 1900 heirloom inventory lists the documented furniture by Boulle acquired for Warwick and in addition to the
offered bureau includes:a pair of torchères (sold in 1968 at the same sale as the offered bureau and then again by
them in 11th June 2003, lot 30), a rectangular table sold from the de Pauw collection, Sotheby’s Monaco, 23rd June
1986, lot 626, a bureau plat sold at Christie’s Geneva,18th November 1974, lot 54 and a régulateur in the Cedar
Room at Warwick.

Fig. 1

31st October 1853 inventory (Warwick Castle county record office

WRO CR 1886/Box 783/16)

Fig. 2

Heirlooms at Warwick Castle, 1900 (Warwickshire County Record

Office 1886/box 708)
Fig. 3

Heirlooms at Warwick Castle, 1900 (Warwickshire County Record

Office 1886/box 708)

Fig. 4

Cedar Drawing Room, Warwick Castle By W. W. Quatremain

Punlisher: J. Salmon, Sevenoaks, England ~ No:*841

Fig. 5

Bureau brisé, marquetry by Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt 1639, 1715

- © Metropolitan Museum of Art, New york

Fig. 6

Top of a commode sold Sotheby’s, Paris 23 March 2006, lot 63

Fig. 7

Detail of cabinet Boulle, Stratfield Saye, hampshire

Fig. 8

Bureau, Louis XIV faste et Décors Mai-Octobre, 1960, Musée des

Arts Décoratifs

Fig. 9

Warwick Castle, East Front from the Court Canaletto © Birmigham

Museum Trust
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 19
the hexagonal dial with blue and white cartouche enamel numerals on a foliate engraved
brass ground, the bell striking movement with verge escapement, silk suspension,
numbered outside count wheel, signed on the backplate C.D.G. Mesnil A Paris, the
Japanese Kutani porcelain mounted case decorated with stylised trellis and Greek-key
design surmounted by a reclining divinity flanked by trails of gilt-bronze roses, supported
on an Imari figure of Hotei, the joyful immortal seated on his sack wearing a feathered gilt-
bronze turban and draped in a black robe falling loosely around his bare stomach and
torso, all above a gilt-bronze band of feathers on a pierced octagonal base decorated with
flowers and clouds on scrolled feet cast with a grotesque mask, the underside of the Hotei
with the European inventory mark in ink C6II; the porcelain figure restored
59cm. high, 26cm. wide, 24cm. deep; 1ft.11¼in., 10¼in., 9½in.
ESTIMATE 200,000-300,000 GBP

Comparative Literature:
Jean-Dominique Augarde, Les Ouvriers du Temps, La Pendule a Paris de Louis XIV à Napoleon I, Wallace Collection,
p. 297.
John Ayers, Oliver Impey, J.V.G. Mallet, Porcelain for Palaces, The Fashion for Japan in Europe 1650-1750, London,
1990, p. 128, fig. 91.
This extremely rare and to date unique clock epitomises the taste for oriental objects so prevalent in 18th century
France. The marchands-merciers commissioned these types of objects for the delectation of their aristocratic and
wealthy clients. Hébert was the main marchand-mercier for whom C.D.G. Mesnil supplied clockcases. This clock is a
very rare combination of two different type of Japanese porcelain, Imari for the figure and Kutani for the hexagonal
case and a Parisian clock movement.
Another Japanese porcelain mounted hexagonal clock, with identical mounts on the case to the dial and a similar
engraved dial, but unfortunately missing the porcelain figure and base, is in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, illustrated by
Augarde, op. cit., p. 297, reproduced here in fig. 1. The movement is by Jacques Cogniet and it is described as `
Chinese porcelain and gilt-bronze’' made around 1725-1730, for the Prince de Condé, its lower part was originally with
a seated porcelain figure for which the present gilt-bronze base by Chaumont was substituted in 1836. Chaumont was
also the maker of the bronze owl above the dial. See also a French ormolu-mounted mantel clock adapted with 17th
century Japanese porcelain figures, sold in our Paris rooms, Arts d’Asie, 18th December 2008, lot 268.
It is worth noting a Japanese Kendi `drinking vessel’, dating from the late 17th century, illustrated by Ayers et al., op.
cit., p. 128, no. 91, with a Hotei on the side in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. This figure of a laughing Buddha,
sometimes called a magot in European decorative art, can be identified as the god of good fortune in Japanese
mythology. The joyful divinity is usually depicted wearing a loosely fitted robe opened to reveal his generous stomach,
carrying all his belongings in a calico bag. Tracing back his origin to the Chinese Buddhist monk Budai Chanshi (The
Buddhist Monk with the Calico Bag), Hotei is traditionally associated with happiness and the protection of children,
often depicted with small children climbing on his stomach or back, playfully pulling at his long earlobe and waiting for
him to present them with sweets and treats from his bag. Compare the enamels on the figure with those found on the
‘porcelain figure on a tortoise’ and on a pair of ‘young boys carrying gourd and seated on a drum’ from The Burghley
House Collection, both dated to the years 1660-1680, illustrated in Ayers, Impey and Mallet op. cit., fig. 158 and 162.
Another example of this rare early Imari figure of Hotei, dressed in a white robe, was sold in our Amsterdam rooms,
14th November 2005, lot 14. For a Chinese porcelain prototype of the same figure, see a 17th century example from
the Edouard T. Chow collection, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, Part III, 19th May 1981. Compare also a Yuan/Ming
Qingbai porcelain figure of Budai, sold Christie’s New York, 23rd March 2012, lot 1974.
The trade in Japanese porcelain in Europe:
By the mid-17th century, export of porcelain from Jingdezhen in China, which had been the traditional supply source
of Oriental ceramics to the Middle East and Europe since the 14th century, came almost to a halt as it became
disrupted by the civil wars that led to the fall of the Ming Dynasty and the establishment of the Qing Dynasty by the
Mandchus. During this transition period, British and Dutch traders had to look for an alternative supply. Therefore they
turned to Japan where porcelain had been produced since the early 17th century, and where the Dutch East India
Company - 'V.O.C'- was operating a trading ‘factory’ on the small island of Deshima, off the coast of Nagasaki, since
the 1640’s. The records of the V.O.C show that the first shipment of Japanese porcelain to Europe, a sample group
consisting of mostly enamelled wares, occurred in 1657. It was not until 1659 that the first sizeable order of porcelain
took place. Comprising a mere 65,000 pieces, it took two years to complete, reaching the port of Amsterdam in 1660.
This episode is traditionally considered the start of Japanese porcelain trade to Europe.
Although this shipment comprised mostly plates, bowls and pots of variously adapted western forms, it also included
some pieces of distinctive Japanese shape, as well as porcelain figures and animals. This cargo was followed by
numerous others up to the second quarter of the 18th century. From then on, the trade of Japanese porcelains began
to experience a decline in face of strong competition from other sources. China had since reorganized its production in
Jingdezhen, and European factories had progressively copied the oriental decorations (and vice-versa) following
discovery of the secret for producing hard paste porcelain in Meissen in 1708.
Parisian marchands-merciers were among the various clients who attended the cargoes’ auctions in Amsterdam and
London upon their return from the East. They would acquire oriental porcelains and later mount them in gilt-bronze or
adapt them as separate elements to create ingenuous works of arts in the ‘Chinoiserie’ style. The present clock is a
fine example of such craftsmanship. The prices of Japanese porcelain was in fact higher than those of the Chinese,
as evidenced by the minute records of the East Indiaman Dashwood auction in London in 1703 showing that the price
of the Japanese pieces could fetch up to ten times the price of their Chinese equivalents.
The tradition in the West has long been to designate Japanese blue and white porcelain as ‘Arita wares’ while
enameled pieces were categorized as either ‘Imari’ or ‘Kakiemon’. In actual fact, all three types were produced in the
town of Arita on the Japanese southern island of Kyushu. Kakiemon is the name of the specific kilns belonging to a
family of enamellers, and Imari is a type of colored decoration featuring predominantly iron red, underglaze-blue and
black enamels with further occasional green and gilt details.
The earlier Imari pieces can be recognized by-‘the comparatively darker tone of the enamels’ and the relatively limited
use of gilding. From the late 1680’s onwards, the palette became brighter, with the parallel development of the
Kakiemon style. Kakiemon porcelains display translucent overglazed enamels that are carefully fired on a finer body
and a whiter glaze. The coarse body of the laughing Hotei figure on the present clock together with its overall palette
decoration, including the pale turquoise blue details on the sack and pants, links it to Arita’s early Imari enameling
The hexagonal clock case, possibly adapted from a tiered box compartment, features geometrical lattice motifs in
mustard yellow, aubergine and green enamels which are also traditionally associated with the early years of porcelain
exports from Arita. This decoration is reminiscent of an earlier style of enameling developed in Kutani. Located on the
main Japanese island of Honshu, Kutani kilns were also producing porcelains during the 17th century. However, early
Kutani pieces (ko-Kutani) were intended for the high-end domestic market and not for exporting abroad, as very few
examples appeared in Europe before the 19th century.
Claude I Du Grand-Mesnil:
He signed his work C.D.G. Mesnil. He was the son of Jacques, master clockmaker at Mer-en-Blaisois and Marie
Chabin, first cousin of Etienne I Le Noir and was married to Marie-Madeleine Du Grand Grand-Mesnil (1710). He was
the father of Jean-Claude known as Claude II and Claude-Antoine. He was first ouvrier libre and received Master on 7
th January 1716. Established Rue des Arrivans (1715), Pont au Change at la Pendule (1720). Retired in favour of his

elder son, Claude II. He was an important clockmaker who worked mostly for the marchand-mercier T.J. Hébert
supplying him with movements for the clockcases of André-Charles Boulle. He also used cases by P. Gueinecken,
and those decorated by the Martin Brothers and made very fine clock cases decorated with porcelain. Clocks signed
by him were owned by the Duc de Bourbon, the prince de Conti, the duchesse du Maine, and M.M. Samuel Bernard,
Randon de Boisset and Roussel. His work can be found in museums including Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, the
Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York and the château de Versailles, Paris.
Thomas-Joachim Hébert (d. 1773):
He had a special status amongst the Parisian marchands-merciers as he enjoyed the privileges of the "marchands
suivant la cour" also called the "marchands privilégiés du Palais". He began his career in 1714 becoming the
successor of Nicolas-Guillaume Daustel whose widow he married-Louise Dezgodetz (d. 1724) and took over his
business at Quai de la Mégisserie, at the sign `Le Roy de Siam’.

His stock in 1724 comprised in the main porcelain and Chinese lacquer, with a small number of pieces of furniture,
notably some Boulle pieces of whom he was a client. He became a widower and remarried Marie-Jeanne Legras (d.
1763) and moved to rue Sainte-Honoré, by le Grand Conseil, where he was based from 1745-50.The pinnacle of his
career was around the years 1737-1750, during which he delivered to the Royal family all sorts of furniture in Chinese
lacquer and or vernis Martin, mounted porcelain, clocks and chandeliers. He worked closely with the ébénistes
B.V.R.B et Criaerd, commissioning pieces in Japanese lacquer from the first and those in vernis Martin from the
second. In ten years from 1737 to 1747, Hébert delivered more than forty pieces to the Royal family. He retired at the
beginning of 1750 selling his shop in the same year.

Fig. 1

Clock movement by Jacques Cogniet, © Musée du Louvre, Paris

Fig. 2

Inventory Mark in ink beneath the figure

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 20
the arched cresting surmounted by a female mask amongst acanthus sprays flanked by a
flower-filled vase above a painted panel depicting lovers in a landscape with cupid, flanked
on either side by boldy carved cherub terms above a further painted panel depicting two
semi-naked females in drapery one inscribing a tree trunk flanked on either side by
amorini, the side panels painted with gambolling cherubs with flower-filled vases, garlands,
ribbons and trophies of Love, each angle carved with stylised lambrequins c-scrolls,
flowers and foliage, the mirrored shaped borders carved with tasselled lambrequins, the
panel on the apron depicting a reclining semi-naked female figure of Venus greeting
Jupiter, the apron centred by a stylised anthemion the whole carved with c and s-scolls,
flowers, leaves and rocaille.
293cm. high, 202cm. wide; 9ft. 7¼in., 6ft. 7½in.

ESTIMATE 150,000-300,000 GBP

Collection of cav. Eugenio Imbert, Milan prior to 1958;
Italian Private Collection

Giuseppe Morazzoni, Il Mobile Veneziano del Settecento, Vol I, Milan,1958, illustrated Tav. CCXXXI.

Comparative Literature:
Graham Child, World Mirrors, 1650-1900, London, 1990, p. 363.
This impressive mirror which is unique both for its size and profusely painted borders is a superlative example of the
virtuosity of Venetian carvers in the first half of the 18th century.
The technique of 'back painting’ (painting on the back of glass panels), was a technique employed in Italy from the 14
th century often with silver and gold leaf and later by the English in the 16th century. Reverse painting on glass is an

art form consisting of applying paint to a piece of glass and then viewing the image by turning the glass over and
looking through the glass at the image. Verre Églomisé is a commonly used term to refer to the art of cold painting
and gilding on the back of glass. It was popular for Byzantine icons and this technique spread to Italy where in Venice
it was influenced by Renaissance art. Since the middle of the 18th century, painting on glass became much sought
after by the Church and the nobility throughout Europe. One can find mirrors made in 18th century Rome and Naples
with flowers painted on the surface of the mirror, however, that technique is far less complex and requires less skill
than that of the painter of the scenes on the reverse of the offered mirror.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 21
of bombé serpentine form, the upper section with a superstructure with two inward curved
sliding panels revealing a recess above a writing surface and slide, with a pull-out slide on
either side, above two long drawers with rocaille carved handles on cabriole legs
terminating in scrolled feet, with reserves of raised panels carved with scrolls and rocaille
and decorated with sprays of flowers, ribbons, birds, dragonflies and `a merletto’ (lace)
work, on a dark blue ground
This bureau has been professionally cleaned by Laboratorio D'Antonio, Turin.
116cm high, 85.5cm wide, 45cm deep; 2ft. 11½in., 2ft. 9½in., 1ft. 5½in.

ESTIMATE 100,000-200,000 GBP

Italian Private Collection
Comparative Literature:
G. Morazzoni, Il Mobile Veneziano del '700, Gorlich, Milan, 1958, Tav. CCCXXXI, and CCCXXXIII and CDXXVII.
Saul Levy, Lacche Veneziane Settecentesche, Vol. I, Milan, 1967.
Annalisa Scarpa, Michelangelo Lupo, Fascino del Bello, Opere d'artedalla Collezione Terruzzi, Rome, 2007, p. 292,
This extremely rare and to date unique bureau, of highly unusual exaggeratedly bombé serpentine form with a
pyramidical shaped superstructure, is beautifully decorated in polychrome lacquer with sprays of flowers, ribbons,
birds, dragonflies and `a merletto’ (lace) work, on a dark blue ground which is rarely found. It also has carved
elements depicting flowers and foliage. This bureau represents a new discovery in the field of Venetian lacquer
furniture dating from the mid 18th century.
The `a merletto' decoration in imitation of Venetian lacework is extremely rare. It can be found on a lacquered
cupboard illustrated by Morazzoni, op. cit., Tav. CCCXXXI (Milan Private Collection), and reproduced here in fig .1. It
can also be found on a set of six mid 18th century Venetian lacquered armchairs, sold in these Rooms, the Splendour
of Venice, 6th July 2010, lot 117 (£140,000), together with a sofa en suite (lot 118). The parcel-gilding on the
mouldings are considered to be in imitation of the gilt-bronze mounts on French commodes.
Although, the form of this bureau appears to be unrecorded to date, it is worthwhile comparing a polychrome
lacquered bureau with drawers below, although less impressive and more restrained in form and decoration than the
offered example, with what appears to be a fall-front and a pyramid type superstructure, illustrated by Morazzoni, op.
cit., Tav. CDXXVII, reproduced here in fig. 2 (formerly in the Giuseppe Gatti-Casazza, Collection).
One should also compare a lacquered cupboard carved in a similar fashion with bold scrolls and of similar
exaggerated bombé and serpentine form, with cartoons after Fontebasso, (formerly in the Tullio Silva Collection), now
in the Terruzzi Collection, Turin, illustrated by Morazzoni, op. cit., Tav. CCCXXXIII, and Scarpa and Lupo, op. cit., p.
292, V15, reproduced here in fig. 3.
Venice and lacquerware:
Since the 16th century, lacquerware inspired by Oriental models has been produced in Venice and was first recorded
by Maximilian Mission, a Huguenot traveller, who visited the city in 1688 and noted that there was a lively business in
lacquerware at all prices. The taste for lacquered furniture reached its zenith in the 18th century with Venice being
pre-eminent in its production. The cosmopolitan Venetian Republic rivalled Paris at that time, as the capital of taste,
fashion and every kind of luxury. This 18th century dolce vita attitude permeated all aspects of the social and cultural
life of Venice's alla moda. Aristocrats from all over the continent descended on the city during their Grand Tour and for
the Carnival; the ensuing exposure of Venetian laquerware to fashionable society resulted in a surge in the demand
for these pieces throughout Europe. The growth and popularity of the Venetian lacquer trade must be placed in the
context of life for the Venetian aristocracy during this period and furniture conceived in the lagoon probably represents
more than any other furniture produced elsewhere in Italy the embodiment of the true rococo style. Small richly
decorated rooms known as casini were maintained by Noble families in Venice filled with commodes, guéridons and
console tables and chairs where after official functions during the Carnival or other festive events they met their
friends for conversazione.

The Venetian depentore were at the peak of their powers towards the middle of the 18th century when whole rooms
would be furnished in lacquer displaying their superlative virtuosity. An example of such a room is in the striking and
elegant interior of the grand Salon of Palazzo Ca' Rezzonico, now the Museum of Decorative Arts in Venice. Many of
the models for Venetian furniture were English or Dutch. Venetians wholeheartedly embraced the French rococo and
added a new dimension making the bombé commode even more exaggeratedly swollen and this almost `outré
bombé' look was a universally accepted trademark of Venice. The decoration of Venetian lacquered furniture at the
beginning of the 18th century was often in red or black and closely followed the Far Eastern models. Later the
depentore developed a style more homogeneous to Venice with pale monochrome colours such as ivory, blue, green
and pink within carved gilded borders.
The decoration was a riot of fantasy and imagination with flowers, exotic birds, arcadian scenes and oriental gardens
featuring small fantastical figures dressed alle cinese or all’indiana who could have well stepped out of the Carnival
parties. The obsession with fantasy and all things being not quite what they seemed was also reflected in the passion
for trompe l’oeil decoration. This was transferred on to lacquer furniture by way of carved flowers and foliage set off
amidst painted versions and faux marble tops. The decoration of the lacquer was never identical and it was not
uncommon for there to be several pieces in one room decorated with different motifs. This is where the Venetian
depentore diverged from their European counterparts as the latter would faithfully and literally imitate the oriental
original. The Venetians loosely adapted the style of Far Eastern models but added their own imitable twist which was
without parallel in Europe.
The lacquer technique :
This was laborious and involved sanding down the wooden carcass, then applying a thin layer of gesso mixed with
glue was then added in preparation of the ground. After the background colour and details were painted up to twenty
layers of varnish (sandracca a mixture of resins and spirit, the same as that used on a gondola) were carefully applied
to avoid brush strokes being evident.

Fig. 1

Cupboard, private collection

Fig. 2

Cupboard formerly Giuseppe Gatti - Casazza Collection

Fig. 3

Cupboard in the Terruzzi collection, Italy

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 22
CIRCA 1765-1770
each of rectangular form, one with a ribbon-tied pail applied with a ladybird, together with a
wicker basket of fruit including pears, grapes, peaches, cherries, pomegranates flanked by
butterflies, carrots, a watering can, gardening hat, and scythe, the other with a scrolled
bracket surmounted by two male masks and a baluster fruit-filled vase with various birds
within a landscape with rockwork, trees and foliage, with various animals including a
monkey in a wicker basket, together with another seated monkey, a peacock, a sheep, cat,
dog, bear cub, and turtle on a stylised plinth with a stylised scallopshell beneath with
simulated corals and pearls on a rocky outcrop, both within frames with a beaded and
ribboned border and faux tortoiseshell ground with turquoise diagonal stripes with three
pear shaped drops at each corner
Panel A: 46.2cm. high, 33.5cm. wide; 18¼in., 13in; Panel B: 46.2cm. high, 34cm. wide;
18¼in, 13¼in.

ESTIMATE 250,000-500,000 GBP

Formerly in a French Collection

Comparative Literature:

Imperatorskiy Steklianniy Zavod, 1777-1917 K225-letiiou so dnia osnovannia (Imperial Glass Factory. 1777-1917.
225th Foundation Day Anniversary) - Exhibition Catalogue, Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, 2004, Slavia, St
Petersburg, 2004.
(In Russian and English).
Nina Asharina, Tamara Malinina, Liudmila Kazakova, Russian Glass of the 17th - 20th centuries The Corning
Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, 2009.
Tamara A. Malinina, Imperatorskiy Steklianniy Zavod - XVIII Natchalo XX Veka (Imperial Glass Factory 18th - early
20th centuries), The State Hermitage Publishers, St Petersburg, 2009 (in Russian).
M.V Lomonossov i Elizavetinskoe vremia (Mikhail Lomonossov and the time of Elizabeth Ist) - Exhibition catalogue St
Petersburg, the State Hermitage publishers, 2011 (in Russian).
Emmanuel Ducamp, (Ed.), The Summer Palaces of the Romanovs - Treasures from Tsarskoye Selo, Thames and
Hudson, London, 2012.
Catherine la Grande, un art pour l'Empire, Chefs-d'œuvre du musée de l'Ermitage de Saint-Pétersbourg, catalogue
d'exposition, musée des Beaux-arts de l'Ontario, 2005, musée des Beaux-arts Montréal, 2006, p. 127.

The art of coloured glass in Russia and Mikhail Lomonosov’s workshops in Ust-Ruditsa
Text by Emmanuel Ducamp
The activity of the Russian polymath Mikhail Lomonosov, his research on coloured glass and the creations by his
workshops in Ust-Ruditsa are now better known thanks to the research done by Russian specialists, especially the
synthesis made by L. Tarasova in the catalogue of the exhibition “Mikhail Lomonosov and the time of Elisabeth I”
which took place in the Hermitage Museum in 2011.
It seems that Lomonov’s interest in the technique of working with glass as a decorative material started from around
1740 and into the1750’s, when two glass mosaic paintings from the Vatican workshops arrived in St-Petersburg. One
of these mosaic paintings was a portrait of Empress Elisabeth I made by Alessandro Cocchi, the official mosaicist of
Pope Benoit XI, who sent it to the Empress as a present. Lomonosov contacted the Vice Chancellor, Count
Vorontsov, and praised the advantages of this technique and the possibility of expanding its use in the decoration of
interiors, especially for public buildings. Undoubtedly, he wanted to revive this ancient Russian art of mosaics, with the
mosaic decorations in the Churches of Kiev and Novgorod dating from the 11th and 12th centuries being two famous
It is purported that up until 1752, Lomonosov undertook several experiments and around 4,000 attempts in the
laboratory of chemistry at the Academy of Sciences. He wanted to reclaim the process of making coloured glass
again. He finally managed to create an impressive palette of 112 different colours, by repute even larger than the
palette of the Vatican. In 1752, he obtained the Russian monopoly for this process, confirmed by the Russian Senate
on 14th December 1752 and 15th March, 1753, which made it possible to create a factory in Ust-Ruditsa, West of St-
The first pieces in coloured glass were made by the factory in 1754. The workshops employed more than 200 workers
in three main buildings, which housed workshops for the preparation of the mélanges and the pâte de verre, several
ovens and a water-mill used to activate the machines in order to cut and polish glass. The opaque and coloured glass
used for these pieces was called smalt, made in different shapes, depending on the work of art and where it would be
used. It could be shaped as pearls which were then sewn onto canvas, half-spheres or half-ovals applied to glass or
stone, or various geometrically shaped pieces forming the base material for mosaics.

Mosaics were laid over a metal ground (in general over copper). Small pieces of glass were applied with fish glue onto
a ground made of powdered alabaster, in order to improve the adhesion. Lomonosov developed the mosaic process
himself as well as the proportion of chemicals composing each colour of the palette. For example, glass became
green when copper was added, turquoise or black, depending on the quantity of added iron, pale red with mercury,
while ruby coloured red was created with gold. In the archives, a distinction is made between masters in mosaics, for
instance M. Vassiliev, E. Melnikov, Ya. Chalaourov or I. Petrov, and those known as “smaltistes” masters, like I.
Zielkh, F. Rogojine or M. Kyrillov. The remarkable work of Lomonosov in this field was even mentioned in the
Nouvelles de Florence, in 1764.

The chef d'oeuvre of the works created at Ust-Ruditsa is undoubtedly the mosaic depicting Peter the Great, victorious
over the Swedes at the Battle of Poltava in 1709. It is now located on the main staircase at the Academy of Sciences
in St-Petersburg. Originally, it was made in order to decorate a commemorative mausoleum in the Imperial Necropole
in the Peter and Paul cathedral, where Peter the Great was laid to rest, located in the fortress of the same name and
considered as the starting point for the foundation of the city.
Lomonosov won the competition organized by the Senate in 1758 and wanted to introduce no less than seventeen
coloured glass mosaics in the spectacular mausoleum, depicting episodes in the life of the Tzar, scenes from
Scripture and the life of the apostles Peter and Paul. Because of the death in 1761 of Elisabeth I, the daughter of
Peter the Great, the project could not be completed. However, some mosaics remain, such as the Battle of Poltava
which was made between 1761 and 1765.

Other mosaic pieces from Lomonosov’s workshops, which are now preserved in either the Hermitage Museum or in
the Russian Museum, are mainly portraits (Elisabeth I, Peter III, Catherine the Great, Vice Chancellor Vorontsov,
Count Chouvalov, Count Orlov) or representations of the Virgin or of Saints.
Empress Catherine II reigned from 1762 and decided to build the … Private Dacha of Her Majesty …in Oranienbaum,
now known as the ‘Chinese palace’ designed by the architect Antonio Rinaldi. The Italian architect asked
Lomonosov’s workshop to carry out the decoration of one of the most extraordinary Russian creations of the 18th
century: the Glass Cabinet of the Chinese Palace. Not only is the panelling of this Cabinet (which still exists) made of
millions of glass pearls which are sewn onto fabric backing, covering the whole surface of the wall, but there was also
a pavement in smalt glass mosaic which did not survive because of its fragility and two remarkable tables in smalt
glass mosaic with gilt or silver bronze mounts, realized between 1765 and 1775 (both tables still in existence). One of
the table tops represents a trompe-l’œil of a desk depicted with closed and open books (one of them showing an
atlas), a compass, a world map and some parchments, while the other includes an allegoric landscape – surrounded
by geometric patterns - alluding to the victory of Russia against Turkey in 1770 (figs. 1 and 2). Apart from the main
material, the most interesting detail for us is the use of four groups of glass or pietre dure fruits applied in the middle of
each side of the frieze of one of the two tables. Whilst the glass used in order to create these came from
Lomonosov’s workshops, the mosaic technique applied to the tables is more precise than that used for the portraits
created by the Lomonossov workshops; it is attributed to the master I. Martino who worked at that time at the Imperial
Stone-cutting manufactory in Peterhof (fig. 3).

Founded in the early 1720’s under the reign of Peter the Great, the Peterhof factory was one of three Imperial
factories created in the eighteenth century in order to put to good use the wealth of Russian minerals in the Imperial
residences. It produced works of art in Russian coloured stones coming from the Ural Mountains or the Altai
Mountains in Siberia. It is famous for many works made with different types of jasper and in particular Russian
stones, such as amazonite, malachite, nephrite, labradorite, or Baikal lapis-lazuli.
Examples of the works produced at the Peterhof Imperial factory are particularly interesting for us with two tables
made in pietre dure and coloured glass, created for Catherine the Great in Tsarskoie Selo in the 1770’s, with their
tops in Baikal lapis-lazuli (displayed today in the Arabesque Hall in the Catherine Palace). Not only do they show the
use of both pietre dure and smalt glass, but they also boast the same elements as those used in our panels (fig. 4).
For example, small panels with a frame made of half-pearls which are similar to those used in the frames of panels A
& B, and groups of fruits in pietre dure or in smalt glass which are similar to those in panel A, are visible on the frieze
of these two tables (fig. 5). Moreover, the flat pilasters emulating the frieze of the Tsarskoie Selo’s tables are in a
coloured glass which imitates lapis-lazuli, as well as the profile and the upper part of the stand pedestal surmounted
by a vase of panel B. This same glass, imitating lapis-lazuli, can be found on the Oranienbaum glass table top with a
geometric drawing and also in the frameworks of profile portraits of Peter the Great and Catherine I displayed in the
central Hall of the Chinese palace of Oranienbaum.
On panel B, the smalt glass platform imitating jasper is similar to the marbled glass used in the other
Oranienbaum table. Moreover, on that same panel B, the shell underneath the platform (fig. 6) reproduces nearly
exactly that which is in the lower part of one of the glass beads panels in the Glass Cabinet of the Chinese palace,
and it is similarly surrounded by coral branches in the form of a fan (fig. 7).
As to the pietre dure, the lower part of the pedestal in panel B is made of pink agate, like all frames on the friezes of
the Tsarskoie Selo’s tables and some of the fruits in panel A. On their stretcher (fig. 8), petals of flowers and leaves
done in nephrite (another typical Russian stone) are similar to those used on panel A. Finally, pieces of natural
malachite visible on the sides of the platform in panel B, or representing leaves and the body of a flying bird in the left
upper part of that same panel, would serve to confirm the Russian origin of these works of art.
All these elements put together make it possible to assume that panels A & B were made in Lomonosov’s workshops
in Ust-Ruditsa, with the potential participation of the Peterhof Stone-cutting manufactory, probably in the late 1760’s
or early 1770’s when the workshops were moved from Ust-Ruditsa to be placed under the authority of the Chancery in
charge of buildings, after Lomonosov had died in 1765.
They were certainly made for a decorative purpose, as an objet de vertu for a prestigious and refined interior. Another
question would be their meaning. For panel A, could it be an evocation of the vegetable kingdom depicting an
abundance of fruit and vegetables? For panel B, could it in turn be an evocation of the animal kingdom which depicts
animals like a peacock, a lamb, a dog, a duck, a tortoise, birds and a monkey. Questions which invite further research.
It is known that Catherine the Great particularly appreciated works in glass. Her bedchamber in the Catherine Palace
at Tsarskoie Selo, designed by the British architect Charles Cameron, was entirely lined with white opaline glass
panels and translucent purple glass bands and columns. It seems they had been made at the Imperial Crystal
Manufactory in St-Petersburg which had already sent two masters – Ivan Konerov and Piotr Drujinin – to study the
techniques for manufacturing coloured glass at the workshops of Lomonosov as early as the 1750’s. The boudoir of
the Tsarina, nicknamed “Tabakierka” (or Snuffbox ) because of its small size, was also covered with white opaline
glass panels and translucent blue glass. In this room, there were two white opaline crystal and blue glass stools (now
lost) and one accompanying table (still preserved in Tsarskoie Selo). The three items were decorated with gilt-bronze
mounts to echo the walls of the room. They are thought to have been made by Georg König, who practiced the art of
stained wax and glass in a particular workshop located in the Small Hermitage by the Winter Palace, St-Petersburg.
König was German and had arrived in St-Petersburg in the mid 1770’s. He was accepted into the Foreign Masters’
Guild in 1777. Together with another famous master active in this workshop, Karl Leberecht, König is known to have
helped make glass cameo casts for Catherine the Great.
In 1779, König created a coloured glass medallion which is now preserved in the Hermitage Museum, (fig. 9). It is very
similar to panel A when comparing the material and type of motifs. A quantity of coloured glass fruits which imitates
opaque and translucent pietre dure or semiprecious stones is reproduced on the ground of the glass medallion
itself, simulating agate. There are other similarities: a basket in cane work, laden with fruit, amethyst or ruby-coloured
grapes and multi-coloured birds. On the upper part of the medallion the portrait in profile of Catherine II is shown on
the simulated agate background, echoing the engraved cameos that she loved. Her head is crowned with laurel, her
presence seemingly emphasising her patronage and taste for the art of Russian coloured glass.
Panels A and B and the combination they show of both techniques of pietre dure and smalt glass are a rare testimony
to the various Russian craftsmanships, particularly successful during the second half of the eighteenth century. They
do credit to the work of the Russian sovereigns, who tried to promote Russia and raise it to the same level and status
as its European neighbours. Nothing was too beautiful enough to decorate their palaces. Legend has it that the blue
paint used for the façades of Catherine's favourite residence, the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoie Selo, was obtained by
mixing the oil paint with ground turquoise glass, used as a pigment. Since the latter was chemically stable, as it had
been previously fired, the paint would not fade in sun light. In the nineteenth century, the art of coloured glass found
its crowning moment in St-Petersburg, with the mosaics made by the workshop of the Imperial Academy of Arts, first
for Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, and then for the Church of the Saviour of the Spilt Blood, with its monumental decoration
nearly entirely made in smalt glass.

Fig. 1

Table in The Chinese Palace, Oranienbaum, nr. St. Petersburg

Fig. 2

Table in The Chinese Palace, Oranienbaum, nr. St. Petersburg

Fig. 3

Detail of fruit (Imperial Stone-cutting manufactory, Peterhof)

Fig. 4

One of two tables (c 1770), Tsarskoie Selo

Fig. 5

Detail of frieze on table in Tsarskoie Selo

Fig. 6

Shell detail underneath our Panel B

Fig. 7

Detail of shell and coral on Glass Cabinet of Chinese Palace

Fig. 8

Stretcher of tables in Tsarkskoie Selo

Fig. 9

Coloured glass medallion in Hermitage Museum

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 23
Approximately 473 by 200cm; 15ft. 6in., 6ft. 7in.
first half 17th century

ESTIMATE 100,000-150,000 GBP

Charles T. Yerkes (1837 - 1905), New York
Erich Maria Remarque (1898 - 1970), Ascona
Private collection, Switzerland
The Textile Gallery, London
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Ausstellung iranischer Kunst. Elamitischer und persischer Kulturkreis, Zurich, Kunstegewerbe-museum, 10 May-19
July 1936
The Grosvenor House Antiques Fair, Park Lane, London, Stand No. 61, 18-26 June 1984
Mumford, The Yerkes Collection of Oriental Carpets, London, 1910, Plate IX
Friedrich Spuhler, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: Carpets and Textiles, trans. Maria Schlatter, Philip Wilson,
London, 1998, p.178, Plate 46
Thomas J. Farnham, The Yerkes Collection, Hali, Issue 101, November 1998, pp.75-87

During his lifetime, Heinrich, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon (1875-1947) amassed hundreds of artworks into
one of the finest collections of the 20th century. His dedication to classical carpets ensured that hugely iconic
weavings entered the family's collection, including the famous Béhague-Sanguszko carpet. Europe's illustrious rug
collectors, such as Wilhelm von Bode and Kurt Erdmann, sold their best pieces to the Baron, who quickly obtained
some of the most important classical carpet weavings known and attainable at the time.
When Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza died, the large collection was divided up among his heirs. Eventually, the new
head of the family, Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1921-2002), bought back works from
other heirs and recreated the collection. In his role as head of the family Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza not only
inherited a vast business empire in naval construction and oil but also a love and appreciation of oriental carpets.
Continuing in his father’s footsteps Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, together with his wife Baroness Carmen,
enriched the family collection with exquisite rugs, carpets and textiles, including classical Chinese carpets from the
late 17th and early 18th centuries. Highly prized by both Baron Heinrich and his son, Hans Heinrich, these carpets,
rather than being shown in the public gallery in the Villa Favorita in Lugano, were enjoyed in their private homes. By
the late 20th century the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection had become one of the world's most important depositories
of classical carpets.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection of carpets was first published in 1972 by May Beattie, and updated in 1998 by
Friedrich Spuhler, op cit. The lot offered here appears as Plate 46 in this cited publication.
Before it entered the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, the `Yerkes-Remarque' Mughal hunting carpet was owned by
several highly prominent collectors of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The first of these was Charles T. Yerkes (1837
- 1905); a so-called 'robber baron'. A somewhat infamous businessman, famed for his bribery and philandering,
Charles T. Yerkes began collecting carpets not out of a passion for the subject but in order to ‘create a collection
without parallel, one that anyone would have to envy.’ (Thomas J. Farnham, The Yerkes Collection, Hali, issue 101,
November 1998, p.77) Fuelled by his competitive streak he spent a fortune on acquiring remarkable carpets and, with
the aid of several dealers, worked hard to establish an astonishing collection. Yerkes’s efforts paid off and Michael
Franses even suggests that he was ‘possibly the first important collector of historical oriental carpets after Cardinal
Wolsey, King Henry VIII and the Habsburgs’. (Franses quoted in Farnham, ibid, p.75).
The sale of the Yerkes Collection, upon his death, bought huge publicity and, due to the scandal attached to his
name, stirred unprecedented curiosity. It is Yerkes who is credited for whetting the appetite of American collectors and
elevating, through the finesse of his carpets, their taste.
Following the famous 1910 sale the Mughal hunting carpet entered the collection of Erich Maria Remarque (author of
All Quiet on the Western Front) in Ascona, where it remained for several decades. In 1986, having passed to The
Textile Gallery, it then entered the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. The prominence and reputation of its previous
owners has ensured the carpet is now counted amongst carpet royalty, with Friedrich Spuhler supposing that it may
have been part of the extensive carpet collection of the Maharaja of Jaipur, although there is no documentary
evidence to support this. However, as noted below, the accomplished design would indicate a court workshop, the
inspiration probably provided by the highly elaborate court carpets of 16th and 17th century Safavid Iran, such as the
mid-16th century 'Emperor's Carpet', now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated in Valérie Bérinstain, Susan
Day, Elisabeth Floret, Clothilde Galea-Blanc, Odile Gellé, Martin Mathias, Asiyeh Ziai, (ed.), Great Carpets of the
World, The Vendome Press, Paris 1996, Plate 115, which includes an elaborate system of flowering vines,
cloudbands and palmettes amongst which scenes of the chase and mythical animals are seen.
The design of the 'Yerkes-Remarque' Mughal hunting carpet is simple but beautifully executed. The field itself is
divided into four, almost identical, blocks of design. The main field, dominated by the wine red ground, is then
enclosed by an ivory inner border, which picks up and accents the white of the animals. Defined by the intensity of its
dark blue ground the main border serves to echo the deep blue of the central palmettes. As if to complete and unify
the overall design the outer border is composed of a thin strip of wine red.
Within the main field we find varied palmette and rosette blossoms linked through elongated lancet leaves together
with the distinct Mughal Indian leaf forms, made up of a cornucopia of blossoms. Scattered amongst these large
ornate flowers, filled with deep blues and framed by flame outlines, are detailed animal combat scenes. In one
instance a powerful tiger, poised mid-air, is ready to pounce upon an unsuspecting white zebu bull. In a scene just
above, a pink spotted leopard bites hungrily into the rewards of his chase, an exhausted blue deer.
The main border is particularly intricate and has been executed with exceptional care. Yellow vines, covered with
forked leaves, unfurl in an S shape creating a distinctive and fluid pattern. In the gaps between the scrolling vines we
flip alternately from highly ornate and boldly coloured palmettes to lions feasting upon fawns. In this case the lions are
detailed with light blue ‘flames’ and clawing outstretched paws. The undulating vines loop beautifully at the corners,
propelling and maintaining this sense of fluidity and movement. Spuhler notes that ‘such accomplished corner
solutions tend to indicate court design workshops’. (Friedrich Spuhler, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: Carpets
and Textiles, trans. Maria Schlatter, Philip Wilson, London, 1998. p.181, Plate 46).
The long, narrow format of this carpet is typical of Mughal and Safavid Persian court carpets of the period; in the west,
contemporary collectors of these precious carpets often displayed them on refectory tables. An example is the
'Fremlin' carpet, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was made for William Fremlin, a servant of the East
India Company between 1626 and 1644, probably as a table carpet; it was most likely made for him in Lahore after
1637, when he became President of the Council of Surat. The family coat-of-arms appears in both the main field and
the border. (Illustrated in Sarah B. Sherrill, Carpets and Rugs of Europe and America, Abbeville Press, New York,
1996, Plate 159). As in the lot offered here, it displays scenes of the chase on a wine red ground, although the motifs
are sparser and it does not have the dynamic energy of the present lot; it does however, allow us to securely date this
example to no later than the first half of the 17th century.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 24
Approximately 270 by 175cm., 8ft. 11in. by 5ft. 9in.
17th century

ESTIMATE 250,000-350,000 GBP

Poland, church of Jeziorak, by repute
Dr Albert Figdor, Vienna, acquired before 1908
Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz, Munich, Neue Pinakothek, 1930
International Exhibition of Persian Art, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 7 January – 28 February 1931
Donald King and David Sylvester, The Eastern Carpet in The Western World from the 15th to the 17th Century, (exh.
cat.), Arts Council of Great Britain and the Hayward Gallery, London, 1983, no. 79, p.100
F. Sarre, Altorientalische Teppiche, Leipzig, 1908, pl.10
O. van Falke, Die Sammlung Dr Albert Figdor, Vienna and Berlin, 1930, vol. I, pl. L, no. 203
A. Feulner, Stiftung Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz, Teil 3. Plastik und Kunsthandwerk, Lugano-Castagnola, 1941, pl.
86, no. 648
R.L. Heinemann, Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz, Lugano-Castagnola, 1958, K 648
May H. Beattie, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection of Oriental Rugs, Lugano-Castagnola, 1972, pl. 1
E. Gans-Ruedin, Splendeur du tapis persan, Friborg, Switzerland, 1978, p. 131
Donald King and David Sylvester, The Eastern Carpet in The Western World from the 15th to the 17th Century, (exh.
cat.), Arts Council of Great Britain and the Hayward Gallery, London, 1983, no. 79, p. 100
Toby Falk, ed., Treasures of Islam, Geneva: Museé Rath, London, 1985, p. 329, no. 340
Hali 65, 1992, p. 111
Jutan. Woven Flowers of the Silk Road, Osaka, National Museum of Ethnology, 1994, p. 77, fig. 56
Friedrich Spuhler, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: Carpets and Textiles, London, 1998, pp. 116-119, pl. 27

This remarkable 'vase' technique carpet was reputedly found in the Jeziorak church in Poland. When first published by
Friedrich Sarre in 1908, it was in the possession of Dr. Albert Figdor of Vienna who was also a previous owner of the
Safavid silk and metal-thread kilim once in the collection of the Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Dr. Figdor (1843-1927) was one of the most important private collectors of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and amassed
a highly significant and comprehensive collection of mostly decorative art objects dating from the Middle Ages to the
nineteenth century. His genuine passion for collecting unique objects drove him to assemble an outstanding anthology
of works that reflected his profound knowledge of the arts and his impeccable taste. Dr. Figdor started the collection in
1869 and constantly worked on enlarging it until his death in 1927. In 1891, he intended to donate part of his collection
to the newly-founded Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna but no agreement was reached and the bequest was
never carried out. The collection remained intact until 1930 when, three years after Dr. Figdor's death, many of the
pieces were offered at auction in Vienna and Berlin.
Since the lot offered here was first mentioned by Sarre in his 1908 book entitled Altorientalische Teppiche as the
Figdor 'vase' carpet, the piece must have become part of his collection prior to that date.
It was after the doctor's death that this carpet entered the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection thanks to the patronage of
Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1875-1947), head of the German-Hungarian Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon et
Impérfalva family whose noble lineage dated back hundreds of years. Interestingly, the Jeziorak carpet, similarly to
most of the other now world-famous carpets in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, was used in the family's private
home and was not exhibited in the Villa Favorita in Lugano. This suggests that these carpets in general were
particularly dear to the Baron. For further discussion of the development of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection of
carpets, please see the footnote to the previous lot.
The lot offered here is a true highlight of the collection and it exemplifies both the excellence of Safavid weavers but
also the quality of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.
The term 'Vase' was first coined to refer to a group of carpets with designs featuring stylised vases, which all share a
similar weaving technique. The term has since been used to signify all of those carpets woven in this manner and
thus, whether their designs include vases or not, they are known as 'vase' carpets.
The structure of the 'vase'-technique group is very unusual in having three passes of wefts after each row of knots and
having multi-coloured wefts placed in a seemingly haphazard fashion as if to use up oddments of wool. The use of
fine silk for the second of the three wefts, as in the present example, denotes a carpet of the highest quality within the
group. This fine weft creates extremely dense pile; a testament to the technical virtuosity of the weaving, the carpet is
in an outstanding state of preservation for a carpet of this period, still with deep and lustrous pile, and the intense
jewel-like colours of the best Safavid weavings.
The Jeziorak carpet, though unusual in its diminutive size, displays both the structure and the design of a 'vase' carpet
with a sophisticated lattice arrangement of ornate palmettes and vases. Three striped vases, one on the central axis
at the bottom and two symmetrically disposed at the top, contain stylised bunches of small pale flower-heads. These
rosette-like flower-heads are then repeated within the arabesque border, appearing to weave within the vines. Ogives,
composed of white, yellow and blue form a delicate tracery, linking rosettes and palmette blossoms together. It is
these ogives, dividing up the field, which give the carpet its distinctive design structure. The geometric interiors of the
vases and the lyrical arabesque border would suggest a mid-seventeenth century attribution. The freshness of the
colours, vivid sky blues and blazing oranges, make the carpet quite remarkable and, in their intensity, stand as
testimony to the care bestowed upon this carpet and the prized place it has held in the hands of connoisseurs since it
was woven some four hundred years ago.
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LOT 25
the tapering cylindrical body rising from a short spreading foot to an angled shoulder and
tall waisted neck set with a pair of dragon handles, brightly enamelled around the body
with a broad landscape band enclosing scholars engaged in scholarly pursuits and their
attendent young boys, all reserved on a celadon ground with scattered floral sprays and
butterflies at the shoulder and neck, the whole with rocaille and flower cast lapetted rim
and base mounts, the neck with a pierced rocaille gilt-bronze collar on scrolled feet
80.5cm., 31 5/8 in.

ESTIMATE 250,000-400,000 GBP

Private French Collection
The gilt-bronze mounts on this vase with their rocaille motifs, scrolls, lappets and flowers are typical of the mounted
porcelain pieces that were sold by the Parisian marchands-merciers especially Lazare-Duvaux in the 18th century.
However, many different bronziers were working for them at the time including Thomas Germain (d. 1748,) Jacques
Caffiéri (d. 1755) and of course Jean-Claude Duplessis. Lazare Duvaux is known to have employed Duplessis to
mount Chinese export porcelain. Similar flowerhead mounts cast in the middle of a lappeted frieze can be seen on a
pair of gilt-bronze-mounted crackle-glazed porcelain pot-pourri vases, the mounts Louis XV, sold in these Rooms, 16
th December 1998, lot 156. It is also worthwhile comparing another pair of gilt-bronze mounted Chinese porcelain

vases and covers which have a similar lapetted frieze centred by sprays of flowers in a similar fashion to those on this
vase, sold Christie’s, London 9th June 1994 lot 34. It is interesting to note that the base on this vase is cast in
several sections which would suggest that the base was mounted by a bronzier who was used to casting mounts for
pieces on a much smaller scale to the offered vase.
Impressive large vases of this type were produced in the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, under the
direction of Tang Ying (1682-1756), China’s most famous superintendent responsible for oversight of the kilns at
Jingdezhen. For details of porcelain manufacture under Tang see Peter Y.K. Lam, ‘Tang Ying (1682-1756). The
Imperial Factory Superintendent at Jingdezhen’, Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, vol. 63, 1998-9, pp. 65-
82. The decoration on this vase depicts scholar-officials immersing themselves in nature, and pursuing leisurely
activities such as playing qi (Chinese chess), writing calligraphy, drinking tea and chatting about poetry in a tranquil
garden setting. Scholars were much revered in China, making this subject matter one of the most popular decorative
themes in the Qing artists’ repertoire, with its origin attributable to the depiction of the Seven Worthies of the Bamboo
Grove (Zhulin qixian) – a group of bohemian intellectuals who escaped from worldly affairs to find freedom in nature –
found on mural paintings as early as the third century.
The painting seen on this vase is finely executed with close attention paid to details and to the placing of the
composition on such a large surface. The vase was meant to be turned so that the scene unfolds like a scroll painting
to reveal the different activities and scenery. While no other vase of this shape and decoration appears to be
recorded, it belongs to a group of impressively large vases of related form with figural decoration painted in the
famille-rose palette, such as the example illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum.
Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 168; and another
celadon-ground famille-rose vase of similar shape and dimensions, also with stylized dragon handles but painted with
the ‘Hundred Deer ‘ motif offered in our Hong Kong rooms, 7th May 2002, lot 526. See also a slightly larger celadon
vase of closely related shape and handles, sold in our London rooms, 19th June 2002, lot 63, bearing a floral design
in panels on the main body.
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LOT 26
each cartouche-shaped back, arms and seat upholstered in a gros and petit point
needlework, with rocaille and foliate scroll-carved frames with outscrolling arms over a
shaped, rocaille-clasp centred front-rail on carved cabriole legs with scrolled trifurcated
feet, one back leg splice, originally gilded

ESTIMATE 250,000-400,000 GBP

Part of a suite of twelve armchairs reputedly supplied to Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive of Plassey (1725-1774) for
Walcot, Shropshire
With Charles of London, New York.
Mrs George L. Mesker of Palm Beach Florida, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc., New York, 27-29th October 1943, lot
Baron and Baroness Carl von Seidlitz, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc., New York, 3rd May 1947, lot 110.
Property of a New York Estate, Christie's, New York, 13th April 2000, lot 93 where purchased by the current vendor.
One chair from the suite illustrated in A. Coleridge, Chippendale Furniture, London, 1968, no. 185.

This magnificent pair of chairs are closely related to plate XVIII in the first edition of Thomas Chippendale's The
Gentleman & Cabinet-Maker's Director published in 1753 (see fig. 1). Described as French Chairs, Chippendale notes
that this and the following three plates are 'Eight Designs of French Chairs which may be executed to Advantage.
Some of them are intended to be open below at the Back : which makes them very light without having a bad Effect.
The dimensions are the same as in Plate XIX. Only that the highest Part of the Back is two Feet, five inches: But
sometimes these Dimensions vary, according to the Bigness of the Rooms they are intended for. A skilful Workman
may also lessen the Carving, without any Prejudice to the Design. Both the Backs and the Seats must be covered
with Tapestry, or other sort of Needlework'.
The richly curvilinear form of the present chairs clearly illustrates the designer's familiarity with the fashionable French
rococo style which has been boldly interpreted by the chair-maker and carver who have ornamented the molded
serpentine and scrolled frame with acanthus leaves with festoons of husks. Similarly the cupid-bow crest rails are
ornamented with leaf clasps and husks and pierced at the center with a cabochon ornament within ruffled foliate
scrolls. Although now stripped of paint or gilding, their fruitwood frames were almost certainly originally ornamented
with highly burnished gilding.
The chairs are possibly part of a set of six chairs (part of a larger suite of twelve chairs) with Messrs. Dawson Inc.,
according to the catalogue entry of the Mrs. George L. Mesker sale of 1943. It is clear from subsequent auction
records that this suite was sold in pairs, the frames having been stripped of their original gilding and then stained and
polished. They were covered in contemporary, possibly French, needlework with pastoral and figural designs. A pair
of these chairs was sold by auction in New York at the Anderson Art Galleries in 1936 by Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, at
which time it was claimed that they were originally commissioned by the Rt. Hon. Lord Clive for his house Walcot in
Shropshire. Although considerable research has been undertaken in the Clive archives to verify this provenance, at
the present time this still remains conjectural. Ten out of twelve chairs from this suite have been identified, their
provenance being documented in sales after 1936:
1. Two of six chairs reputedly with Messrs. Dawson, Inc.
With Symons Inc., New York (illustrated in J. Aronson, The Book of Furniture and Decoration: Period and Modern,
New York, 1936, pl. opposite p. 112)
Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, sold Anderson Art Galleries, New York, January 31-February 1, 1936, lot 405
A New York Private Collector, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, February 19-21, 1942, lot 489
Anon. sale, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, February 1-2, 1952, lot 344
2. The current pair, with Charles of London, New York
Mrs. George L. Mesker, 'La Fontana', Palm Beach, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, October 27-29, 1943, lot
Baron and Baroness Carl von Seidlitz, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, May 3, 1947, lot 110.
Sold, Christie's, New York, April 13, 2000, lot 93
3. Another pair with Charles of London, New York
Mrs. George L. Mesker, 'La Fontana', Palm Beach, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, October 27-29, 1943, lot
4. A pair with Symons, Inc., New York
Robert J. Dunham, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York May 9-10, 1947, lot 370
From Frank Partridge Inc., New York
Walter P. Chrysler Jr., sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York May 6-7, 1960, lot 372 (illustrated in A. Coleridge,
Chippendale Furniture, London, 1968, no. 185.)
5. A pair with Edward I. Farmer, New York
The collection of Mrs. Elmer T. Cunningham, Monterey, California, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York March 14,
1959, lot 114
Although the design of the present chairs is obviously based on those in Chippendale's Director, there is no original
documentation to enable one to attribute them to a particular maker. Another suite of giltwood seat furniture definitely
known to have been commissioned by Robert Clive for his London house at 45 Berkeley Square in the 1760s has,
however, been securely attributed to the London cabinetmaker Charles Arbuckle of St Alban's Street, Pall Mall. (see:
Oliver Fairclough, '"In the Richest and Most Elegant Manner": A Suite of Furniture for Clive of India', Journal of the
Furniture History Society, vol. XXXVI, 2000.) The suite included three sofas, four elbow chairs, and 'twelve back stool
chairs'. Part of the suite is now in the Blue Drawing Room at Powis Castle, and a pair of arm chairs and a set of six
side chairs were in the Steinberg Collection (Sold Sotheby's, New York, May 36 2000, lot 268). Little is known of
Charles Arbuckle's career other than his employment by the 3rd Duke of Marlborough in the 1750s and in the 1760s,
and by Robert Clive in the 1760s. As with the other two suites, the Arbuckle chairs have the same profile and follow
Thomas Chippendale's designs for French Chairs. They differ in having flatter paneled crest rails with pronounced
rising scrolled corners, the legs terminating in scrolled feet.
Robert Clive better known as 'Clive of India', made his fortune as a brilliant military tactician protecting the interests of
the East India Company in India over three periods: 1744-53, 1755-60, and 1765-67 and upon his return to Britain
between these periods he furthered his political ambitions by purchasing large properties. He married Margaret
Maskelyne (1753-1817) in 1753 in Madras and returned to England with a fortune of £40,000 (made from his
investment in diamonds), and paid off his family debts including the mortgage on the family seat, Styche Hall. He
returned to India after a failed foray into politics and his victory at Plassey established British control in Bengal. Upon
his return to England, in 1760 he had amassed a fortune of £300,000 and was made Baron Clive of Plassey. By 1761
he was elected MP for Shrewsbury and by 1762 was made Knight of the Bath. His houses and properties were vast
including an Irish estate, renamed Plassey. He bought Lord Montfort's 7500 acre estate in Shropshire for £70,000 in
1761 and the house at Walcot (see fig. 2) and its estate of 6000 acres for £92,000 in 1763. He and his wife Margaret
rented a very fashionable town house at 45 Berkeley Square, London from Lord Ancram, eventually purchasing it from
him for £10,500. After a brief return to India (1765-67), his wealth increased to £400,000 and he continued to
purchase estates including Oakley Park and Okehampton from Lord Powis. He demolished the old Palladian house
of Claremont and commissioned Capability Brown and Henry Holland to build a new neoclassical house on the former
site. At the time of his death, his estate was worth over £500,000, leaving his family well-established, his eldest son
eventually becoming governor of Madras and Earl of Powis.
A similar suite of chairs of almost identical design was sold, Sotheby's New York, April 7 2004, lots 204 and 205 and
were probably commissioned by Charles Moore (1711-1764), Ist Earl of Charleville probably for a large house in the
vicinity of Tullamore Harbour, co. Offaly, Ireland and then moved to Redwood House, later know as Brookfield. The
chairs eventually were situated at Charleville Forest, inherited by Rex Beaumont, Esq., of Belvedere House and sold
at Christie's, London, November 23 1967, lot 105. At the time of this sale, the backrests were embroidered with
conjoined Cs beneath an earl's coronet indicating the Earl of Charleville. They are also illustrated in situ at Charleville
Forest in a Country Life article of September 27, 1962. The Charleville chairs differ slightly from the present suite in
that they have a more pronounced acanthus leaf scroll centering the serpentine seat rail; however it is possible that
both suites originated from the same workshop.

Fig. 1

Thomas Chippendale’s design

Fig. 2

Walcot, Shropshire

Fig. 3

Clive of India
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LOT 27
the faceted flattened hexagonal body rising from a short spreading foot rising to a tall
flaring neck with stylised dragon handles, the finely chased gilt-bronze mounts to the neck
with scroll and foliate ornament, the pierced conforming mounts to the base with flowers
and berries, each vase with a paper label in manuscript, 47/2
36.8cm. high, 15.2cm. wide, 11.5cm. deep; 1ft. 2½in., 6in., 4½in.

ESTIMATE 100,000-200,000 GBP

The present pair of vases was originally purchased almost certainly by Edward, Viscount Lascelles (1764-1814) for
either Harewood House, Yorkshire or Harewood House, London (fig.1), and thence by family descent until sold by
The Right Honourable The Earl of Harewood, Christie`s London, Highly Important Sèvres Porcelain, Chinese
Porcelain with French Ormolu mounts and Fine English Furniture, July 1st 1965, lot 47.
Private Collection and then passing by family descent to the present vendor.

Lunsingh Scheuleer, Chinesisches und japanisches Porzellan in europãischen Fassungen, Braunschweig, 1980, p.
318 & 330.

Comparative Literature:
Gillian Wilson, Mounted Oriental Porcelain in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999, pp. 76- 79.
Sir Francis Watson, Mounted Oriental Porcelain,1986, p.100

The Collections of the Earls of Harewood

The present pair of exquisitely mounted vases formed part of the magnificent collection of gilt-bronze mounted
Chinese porcelain originally collected by either Edward Lascelles, 1st Earl of Harewood (1739- 1830) or more likely
by his son and heir Edward, Viscount Lascelles, most probably for Harewood House, Hanover Square, London and
subsequently moved to Harewood House, Yorkshire.

The Lascelles family originated in Yorkshire. In the late 17th and early 18th century they acquired significant sugar
plantations in Barbados, the profits of which enabled Edwin Lascelles, 1st and last Baron of Harewood (d. 1795) to
build the magnificent country house named Harewood House, in Yorkshire. Designed by Robert Adam and
with furniture by Thomas Chippendale, which was to be one of his greatest commissions, the house was then and
indeed is now still considered to be one of the greatest houses and collections of England. The estate passed from
Edwin Lascelles on his death, to his cousin Edward, who in 1812 became 1st Earl of Harewood. His son and heir
was Edward, Viscount Lascelles.

In 1795 the Lascelles family also acquired as a town house, Harewood House, London which was on the north corner
of Hanover Square, London. Originally named Roxburghe House and designed by Robert Adam, the family engaged
the architect Samuel Page to alter it to their taste. It remained occupied by the family until 1895 and was demolished
in 1908.

Viscount Lascelles was known as a great art connoisseur and collector (fig.2). Nicknamed 'Beau’ because of his
physical resemblance to the Prince Regent, he patronised the celebrated London dealer Robert Fogg who was based
in both Regent Street and Golden Square. Fogg specialised in supplying furniture and ceramics and in fact rather
charmingly described himself as a `Chinaman’. He supplied distinguished collectors which included the Prince Regent
and also William Beckford and accounts show that he supplied both Viscount Lascelles and the Earl of Harewood with
Chinese porcelain. He supplied Viscount Lascelles in 1807 with ` a pair of sea green China jars’ for £600 (Mary
Mauchline, Harewood House, London, 1974, p.117). Accounts for 1807 show that 1ST Earl spent £1400 with Fogg.
As clearly Fogg dealt with ceramic pieces of the quality of the present lot, it would seem likely that he also supplied
the present vases.
Many of the French mounted porcelain pieces in the Harewood House collection were probably originally owned by
distinguished French aristocratic patrons who had fallen to the guillotine and whose possessions subsequently
appeared in the Paris salerooms in the revolutionary sales of the late 18th century. England was of course at war with
France and it was difficult for collectors or agents to travel to France. However the Peace of Amiens in 1802
temporarily enabled English collectors to visit Paris and it is thought that this was when the present vases were
acquired and brought to England.

The Lascelles family seem to have had a particular passion for porcelain of this type as an inventory of 1838 of
Harewood House London shows that there were ninety seven pieces of Chinese porcelain described as `Green’ or
`Mandarin’ and fifteen pieces of ormolu-mounted Chinese porcelain. The porcelain was eventually transferred to
Harewood House Yorkshire where it remained until selected pieces were sold in 1965 by 7th Earl of
Harewood (d.2011). The collecting tradition and connoisseurship of the family continued into 20th century.The 6th Earl
of Harewood who was the father of 7th Earl, (d.1947) married Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess
Mary, only daughter of H.M. King George V and Queen Mary. They were to carry out much restoration,
refurbishment and re-organistion of the house and its collection which included re-hanging pictures, re-upholstering
the Chippendale furniture and re-arranging it in the manner in which it was intended to be displayed. The 7th Earl
continued this work which included the restoration of the magnificent gallery to its original state, where much of the
remaining Chinese gilt-bronze mounted porcelain still remains, (see fig.3). Taxation during the sucession of the 7th
Earl necessitated sales of works of art and land, however such was the scale of the collection that much still
remains to make it one of the most exceptional collections in the country.

The Porcelain

According to Kristal Smertek in Rococo Exotic French mounted porcelain and the Allure of the East, New York, 2007,
quotes Jean Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d`Argens in his Chinese Letters between 1739 to 1740 `The French do not
have any aversion for foreign culture, which they adopt easily, but the thing is they like to add or remove things to it,
that`s what we call `le gout francais’. This comment perfectly encapsulates the history of the fashion for mounted
porcelain in France. The enthusiasm for this type of of exotic porcelain commenced with the various `Compagnie des
Indes’ which from the 17th century onwards, traded with the Orient in all manner of luxurious Oriental ware which so
inspired the Parisian marchands-merciers who were driven to supply their illustrious clientele with the latest fashion
and novelties such as gilt-bronze mounted objects. As soon as the Oriental ware arrived in Europe, the rarest pieces
were cut, carved or even associated, before being applied with gilt-bronze mounts.

The present vases are Celadon porcelain, which is also called greenware has an olive green feldspathic glaze
obtained through the high firing ( minimum 1,200c) of iron oxides which are applied directly onto the earthenware
body. Chinese celadon is usually classified in two types; Northern and Southern. Northern celadon was mainly made
during the Song dynasty but not after that when its capital moved South in 1127 and does not seem to have been
exported. Southern celadon was made through the Song dynasty and later. This type of celadon was widely exported
and thus is mainly found in European gilt-bronze mounted objects such as the present vases. The large size of the
present vases and rather unusual handles are characteristic of the type of Chinese ceramics that were made for the
European market. The glaze relates to the celebrated Longquan wares of the Song dynasty and the form of the
present vases is reminiscent of contemporary Imperial vessels.
The Mounts
The gilt-bronze mounts on the present vases are heavily scrolled and foliated with berries that scroll upwards on the
base. They have been attributed to Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis (d. 1773) on stylistic grounds and also on the
basis of their exceptional quality. The bronzes are extremely finely cast and clearly specifically cast for the present
vases as they follow the form of the vase. They are also extremely well executed in terms of burnishing with polished
and matt areas of chasing which are conceived to contrast and highlight the detail. Duplessis, born in Turin, was the
son of the sculptor, bronzier and artistic director of the Vincennes-Sèvres Manufactory. From 1752, he assisted his
father in creating models and is best known for his work as a designer and modeller for the Sèvres factory. On 12th
June 1765 he became maître fondeur en terre et sable having mastered the disciplines of drawing and sculpture. In
1777 he was described in the Almanach des Artistes as a `bon dessinateur, travaille d`après ses dessins`. He
became the appointed bronzier to the Sèvres factory and was replaced after his death by Pierre-Philippe Thomire.
Although he seems to have also worked extensively for the marchands-merciers as a sculptor of decorative bronzes,
there is very little documented work by him. He is however known to have made the mounts for the bureau du Roi
Louis XV at Versailles and also those for a Sèvres vase given by the Dauphine, Marie-Josephe de Saxe to her father
Augustus III, King of Saxony, in 1749.

Gilt-bronze mounted porcelain was at the pinnacle of fashion in France during 1750s being supplied by such
marchands-merciers as Lazare Duvaux. His day book records numerous purchases of this porcelain by the leading
collectors of the day. The Marquis de Voyer d`Argenson ( Livre-Journal de Lazare Duvaux 2 vols. Ed. L. Courajod,
Paris 1873, p. XXXIII) achetait surtout chez Duvaux de la porcelain Céladon garnie de pieds et et de montures de
bronze doré. Plus souvent, possesseur de pieces de choix, il chargeait Duvaux de les monter. Celui-ci le nuit en
rapport avec le celebre modeleur Duplessis… D`Argenson`s most ambitious purchase of celadon is recorded in
September of 1750, ( no. 601): Deux gros vases de porcelain doré d`or moulu 3000l. The only other purchase of
celadon by a contemporary collector of a similar value is made by Gaignat de Gagny who bought in 1754: Deux urnes
de porcelain Céladon, couvertes, montées en bronze d`ormolu par Duplessis, 2920l. Other references include in 1754
a reference to the Marquise de Pompadour: `La garniture en bronze d`oré d`or moulu d`un vase en hauteur de
porcelain celadon a tete de belier, nouveau modèle du Duplessis 320l; These sums represented very considerable
sums and indicate the esteem in which such items were held.

For comparison a single vase of identical form to the present pair of vases is in the collection of the J. Paul Getty
Museum and is illustrated in Gillian Wilson, Mounted oriental Porcelain in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999, p.76, figs.
15A-15C. This example had a provenance of the Trustees of the Swinton Settled Estates, sold Christie`s London, 4th
December 1975, lot 46. Another related pair of vases to the present pair is in the Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris,
(accession number 222). Another example of French gilt-bronze mounted Chinese porcelain, the mounts attributed to
Duplessis can be seen in a vase and cover in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Forsyth Wickes
Collection, ( 65.2262 a-b), illustrated in Sir Francis Watson, op. cit., pp.26-7. See also a large Louis XV period celadon
vase with gilt-bronze mounts attributed to Duplessis, sold Sotheby`s Paris 23rd June 2004, lot 58. An exceptional
garniture of three gilt-bronze mounted Chinese blue porcelain vases, the porcelain Kangxi (1662-1722), the mounts
Louis XV, circa 1755-60, attributed to Jean-Claude Duplessis, lot 37, sold Sotheby`s Paris, the Collection of Leon
Levy, 2nd October 2008, lot 37, inc. premium 1,151,150 Euros. A Loius XV ormolu-mounted Chinese Clair-de-lune
porcelain vase, the mounts also attributed to Duplessis, and with same provenance as the present lot was sold
Christie`s London, Collecting in the Royal Tradition, 5th December 2012, lot 29, sold incl. premium £1,161, 250.

Fig. 1
Harewood House, London
Fig. 2
Edward, Viscount Lascelles Reproduced by the kind permission of
the Earl and Countess of Harewood and Trustees of the Harewood
House Trust

Fig. 3
The Gallery, Harewood House Reproduced by the kind permission
of the Earl and Countess of Harewood and Trustees of the
Harewood House Trust
Treasures, Princely Taste
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LOT 28
the semi-eliptical top centred to the rear edge by a sun-flower and fan motif with six oval
patera framed within bell-flower garlands and anthemia with a rosette and bell-flower
border and tulipwood crossbanding, the carved giltwood frieze of rosettes on patera-
headed blocks flanking a stylised shell and foliate scrolled apron on slender leaf and
guilloche carved fluted tapering legs, possibly with further aprons to the sides, the feet re-
set, re-gilt
89.5cm. high, 144cm. wide, 57.75cm. deep; 2ft. 11¼in., 4ft. 8¾in., 1ft. 10¾in.

ESTIMATE 300,000-500,000 GBP

Almost certainly commissioned by Sir Edwin Lascelles for Harewood House, Yorkshire from Thomas Chippendale,
circa 1772, (see figs. 1&2).
Probably acquired by Captain Arthur Charles Edward Somerset (1859-1948) and Louisa Eliza Somerset (nee
Hodgson d. 1940), for their house at Stratford Place, London.
Thence by descent to their daughter, Victoria Mary Blanche Somerset who married Captain Leopold McClintock
Lonsdale and by descent at Kingston Lisle Park, Oxfordshire, (see fig.3).

For the comparable table at Harewood;
Clifford Musgrave, Adam and Hepplewhite and other Neo-Classic Furniture, London, 1966, fig. 108, then recorded in
The Rose Drawing-Room at Harewood.
Christopher Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. II, p. 265, figs., 484-5.

This magnificent pier table demonstrates Thomas Chippendale's genius as a designer and his ability to both define,
and conform with, the current tastes. Thus, having successfully promoted his designs from the mid-1750s through
contrasting Gothic, Chinese and French tastes he naturally adopted the more refined neoclassical 'antique' decoration
of the late 1760s that was furiously promoted by King George III, his Court architect Sir William Chambers and Robert
Adam. The final decade of his life culminated in what is arguably his greatest commission, a neo-classical triumph,
that for Sir Edwin Lascelles at Harewood House, Yorkshire, from where it is almost certain that this table originated.
Clifford Musgrave op. cit. , p. 202, remarks (of the Harewood table) that 'This table marks an astonishing advance
upon earlier neo-classical examples in elegance of design, the legs being of extreme slenderness in relation to the
top, yet a harmonious relation between the top and frieze is achieved with the satisfying scale of the block capitals.'
The Harewood Connection
The current table is identical in form to a pier table at Harewood House, Yorkshire (see fig.4) which is currently in the
Princess Royal's Dressing Room. The offered table includes a foliate scrolled and stylised shell-centred apron which
is most probably lacking form the example at Harewood where small pin or nail holes are evident to the underside of
the frieze, there is also the possibility that further carved elements were present between the outer and inner legs on
both examples. There is almost conclusive evidence that the current table and the Harewood example were originally
a pair and were separated at some point in the late 19th or early 20th century. The tables have identical construction
and choice of timbers and some of the fruitwood ground veneers to the segmented top appear to have been cut from
the same source of timber. There are very minor differences in the dimensions of the two tables, with less than one
centimeter difference in the height and width while the depth is the same. Whilst it is not presently known when the
current table left Harewood, it does not appear in either of the major sales in 1951 or 1965, it may well have left the
collection in the years following the Sir Charles Barry refurbishments of 1844-5 when many of the interiors were
updated in the Victorian taste. It was at this stage that much of the peripheral ornamentation of the grand Chippendale
mirrors were removed and placed in store along with other pieces of Chippendale furniture, such as the State Bed
where they remained until the mid-1980s when alighted upon by Christopher Gilbert. It is also feasible that the carved
apron, lacking on the Harewood example was removed at this stage also.
Harewood: Chippendale's Greatest Commission
Chippendale's commission at Harewood House was the most valuable and probably most extensive of his career. The
first documented record of Chippendale's involvement at Harewood is in a letter dated 19 July 1767 from the cabinet-
maker to another of his patrons, Sir Rowland Winn of Nostell Priory, in which he wrote 'As soon as I had got to Mr
Lascelles and look'd over the whole of ye house I found that [I] Shou'd want a Many designs & knowing that I had time
Enough I went to York to do them'.
Edwin Lascelles had commissioned John Carr of York to design him a new house shortly after receiving the huge
inheritance upon his father's death. Early plans by Sir William Chambers were rejected and Carr's plans were shown
to the young Robert Adam in 1758, who had freshly returned from three years of study in Italy, with a view to the
interiors. Adam did little to alter Carr's plan, who had already been involved at Harewood on the stables, farm,
house and model village. The foundation stone of the new house was laid in 1759, Adam's decorative schemes date
to 1765 and Chippendale's visit in 1767 would have been about four years before the house was inhabitable. What
ensued was a commission of considerable scale. Whilst the early invoices for furniture have never been discovered, a
reference contained within the major surviving invoice refers to earlier work, prior to 1772, amounting to £3,024, 19.s
3d. The major invoice that relates to work to June 1777 was nearly £7,000 and as Christopher Gilbert notes in his
seminal work on Chippendale it is likely that the full commission exceeded £10,000, a vast sum at that time. The
commission continued past the retirement of Chippendale Snr. in 1776, overseen by his son until 1797. To give an
indication of the importance and significance of this commission, the sheer cost magnificently out-weighed that of
many of Chippendale's other highly regarded clients. For example, Sir Lawrence Dundas' bill amounted to £1,300 for
the work between 1763-66 which included the ornate chairs made to Robert Adam's design and supplied for Arlington
Street, London, and Sir Rowland Winn's patronage at Nostell amounted to around £2,000 for the work undertaken up
to 1771.
The design of this table shares components of the design with Chippendale's other neo-classical commissions and
indeed other pieces at Harewood. The carved rosette frieze on the current table is virtually replicated in marquetry on
the frieze of the famous library table from Harewood (see C. Gilbert, op.cit. vol.II, p. 244, fig. 446), which is also
flanked by similar pearl-framed oval patera, was again used to the frieze of the Harrington Commode, sold Sotheby's
London, 7 December 2010, lot 69 and the same design in carved mahogany is also present on the library chairs with
the lyre backs supplied to Sir Roland Winn at Nostell Priory supplied a little earlier in 1768. The form of the foot on the
current table may be compared to those found on the suite of twelve armchairs, twelve side chairs and four sofas
supplied for Brocket Hall circa 1773 (also illustrated in Gilbert, op. cit. p. 109, fig 186).
A report on the gilding history is available from the department upon request.

Fig. 1

Sir Edwin Lascelles Reproduced by the kind permission of the Earl

and Countess of Harewood and Trustees of the Harewood House

Fig. 2

JMW Turner, Harewood House from the North-East Reproduced by

the kind permission of the Earl and Countess of Harewood and
Trustees of the Harewood House Trust.

Fig. 3

Kingston Lisle, Oxfordshire

Fig. 4

The matching table currently at Harewood House, Yorkshire

Treasures, Princely Taste
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LOT 29


in the form of a classical portico, the glazed tessellated floor painted in grey and white, an
ormolu putto in pilgrim's dress standing before the double doors, the biscuit Doric
columns entwined with laurel, their bases painted en grisaille with trophies, the sides with
burning braziers, the portico surmounted by an acanthus-cast ormolu drum containing a
later bell striking movement, the enamel dial signed Revel a Paris, the porcelain with gilt
crowned interlaced Ls and date letter BB
42.5cm, 16 3/4 in high

ESTIMATE 150,000-250,000 GBP

Though the Sèvres factory produced many plaques to be fitted into gold boxes, furniture and clocks1, complete clocks
in porcelain are very rare indeed. Only one model of a Sèvres porcelain clock was previously known, recorded in the
factory archives as 'colonnes à pendule' for the first time in 1772. An example is in the Royal Collection2, and another
one in the Wallace Collection3.
This clock was unidentified until very recently, but new research has now successfully identified it from the factory
records as the unique clock made for the marchand-mercier Monsieur Heroy.
The clock is first mentioned in the registres des travaux de porcelaine (work records), when the repareur Charles
Godin père worked extensively in October / November / December 17794 on a clock stand (porte pendule) and on
chapiteaux (capitals). The record also mentions that the clock was modelled by Josse Francois Leriche, pupil of
Etienne Falconet, who was to become head of the sculptors' studio from 1780 to 1801.
On 24th April 17805, the kiln records mention the firing of a biscuit clock with "guirlandes en or et parquet peint" [gilt
garlands and a painted tile floor]. The piece was then sent to the burnishing workshop on 6th May 1780, where the
decoration was carried out by two of the most talented painters of the factory: Pierre-Louis Philippe Armand le Jeune
for the gilding, and Charles Buteux père for the tile floor.
Buteux is then also mentioned in the painters' records of the factory, on 18th March 17806, for painting 'un pied d'estal
pour la pendule de M Heroy / mozaique en gris' [a pedestal for Mr Heroy's clock/ mosaic in grey].
The clock seems thus to have been specifically commissioned by Monsieur Heroy, and worked upon by the best
artists of the factory. Between 1779 and 1781, the name of the Parisian marchand-mercier Monsieur Heroy appears
on the selling records, amongst other merchants who were buying Sevres porcelain for their stock and who had a
privileged discount of 9%. In the first semester of 1780, he was invoiced for goods to the value of 1,496 livres,
including the clock for a substantial 600 livres7. This was to be the most expensive piece ever acquired by Heroy. In
the event, it seems that this ambitious commission did not find a patron among Heroy's clients, and it was listed in the
bankruptcy stock list made on 23 January 1783, whereupon all trace of its existence was lost until its recent
Nöel-Alexandre Heroy was born in 1747 to a family of rich Parisian merchants, originally butchers, and trained as a
clockmaker with Bernard Joseph Bel, in the rue de Harlay (île de la Cité). He became master in May 1778 but had
already signed a contract before to set up a partnership with his sister Marie Félicitée to develop a business of '
horlogerie, bijouterie et mercerie'. In 1779, they decided to extend the business to porcelain and moved to larger
premises rue Saint Nicaise, and then rue du Temple. From July 1779, Heroy bought stock regularly from the Sèvres
factory, probably under the influence of Marie-Félicité, as he is not mentioned in the Sevres archives after May 1781,
the month of his sister's death. The business seems then to have gone into decline, and following a stock list
completed on 23 January 1783 Heroy was declared bankrupt on 4 February 17848.
We are grateful to Bernard Dragesco for the information he kindly provided.
1. See an example at the Wallace Collection, R. Savill, The Wallace Collection, catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain,
London, 1988., p. 860-863
2. G. de Bellaigue, French Porcelain in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 2009, cat. 281.
3. R. Savill, The Wallace Collection, catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain, London, 1988., p. 792-793.
4. Archives de la Manufacture de Sèvres, Registre Va'4, Va'5, Va'6.
5. Archives de la Manufacture de Sèvres, Registre Vl'1, fº 101vº, fº106
6. Archives de la Manufacture de Sèvres, Registre Vj'1, fº 37, fº38 vº
7. Archives de la Manufacture de Sèvres, Registre Vy7, fº 263
8. Marie-Agnès Dequidt, Temps et Société: les horlogers parisiens (1750-1850), Thèse de doctorat, Université Paris-
Est Créteil, 2010.
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LOT 30
each of ovoid form, each cover topped by knop, with pierced necks with interlacing half-
circles with pierced bodies with spiral fluting bacchic satyr-head handles linked by
garlands of vine leaves and grapes, on square bases; some restorations
each 31cm. high, 18.5cm. wide; 1ft.¼in., 7½in.

ESTIMATE 600,000-1,000,000 GBP

Probably made for the French royal family, possibly with the collaboration of a family member
Former Collection of Alphonse de Rothschild (1827-1905), thence by descent to Baron Guy Édouard Alphonse Paul
de Rothschild (1909–2007), Hôtel Lambert, Paris, reproduced in figs. 11 & 12.
Sotheby’s Monaco, 25th-26th May 1975, lot 232
Private Collection, Paris
C. Baulez: Notes sur quelques meubles et objets d’art des appartements intérieurs de Louis XVI et de Marie-
Antoinette in Versailles, deux siècles d’histoire de l’art (RMN 2007)
J. Zeck: La garniture de cheminée de Marie-Antoinette en ivoire tourné conservée à l’Ermitage in Bulletin de la
Société de l’histoire de l’art français (1990)
B. Rondot et al: Marie-Antoinette, Grand Palais, Paris, 15 March-30 June 2008, catalogue p. 185 (n° 127)
D. Kisluk-Grosheide & J. Munger: The Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of
Art, New York 2010, pp 140/1 (n° 68)
Y. Hackenbrock: Bronzes, Others Metalwork & Sculpture in the Irwin Untermeyer Collection,1962
The Art of Ivory-Turning: A Tradition in the Manual Education of the French Royal Children:
Extraordinary objects in turned ivory – ingenious and creative tour de force – can be found in European Kunstkammer
collections of the 16th and 17th centuries and many European sovereigns took up the craft of ivory-turning
In France, the pastime became fashionable again in the second half of the 18th century. Louis XV, followed by his
daughters, learnt the art of ivory-turning from Jeanne-Madelaine Maubois, the King’s official tourneuse. A clock given
by Louis XV to Marie-Antoinette as a wedding gift in 1770 reflects the enthusiasm for this type of manual work,
produced by the monarch under his teacher’s direction, reproduced here in fig. 1. It was also a favourite hobby of his
daughter Madame Sophie.
The Dauphin (the future Louis XVI) and his brothers, the Comte d’Artois and Comte de Provence, were pupils of
Michel Voisin (1729-86), Maître de Tour du Roi, whose son François continued the workshop’s activity after his
father’s death. The names Maubois and Voisin appear in Louis XVI’s private accounts in the form of a twice-yearly
pension for Mademoiselle Maubois, and payments to Voisin for works and supplies. When Mademoiselle Maubois
died in 1777, Michel Voisin acquired her turns with funding from Louis XVI; over the years to come he would give his
aunt, Madame Sophie, money to pay for Voisin’s services.
Precious Objects & Curios:
Louis XVI’s taste for this type of object was shared by his aunts. A score of these ivory vases were to be found in the
King’s Inner Cabinets at Versailles, while nine ivory vases, with their cages are recorded in Madame Victoire’s Inner
Cabinet at the Château de Bellevue in 1786 (Arch. Nat. O1 3379). The Château de Bellevue inventory drawn up in
L’An II (1793/4) mentions ‘two openwork ivory vases adorned with gilded bronze masks beneath their cages’ (Arch.
Louvre, Z4). Seven vases were offered for sale next year for the sum of 6000 livres. Six others of varied provenance
were still in storage at the Château of Versailles in L’An VI (1797/8); five of them were set aside the following year to
furnish the headquarters of the Directoire at the Luxembourg Palace. Others, however, disappeared after being
auctioned off during the turbulent years of Revolution –such as the ‘two vases in turned ivory adorned with gilded
bronze’ acquired by Citizen Favre of Paris in L’An II for 2900 livres. An ivory vase with gilt-bronze mounts, made
around 1775, is now in the Louvre (inv. OA7370), reproduced here in fig. 2.
François Voisin, Maître de Tour du Roi & Pierre-Philippe Thomire, Maître Bronzier:
Louis XVI’s private expenditure for 1787 include the sum of 475 livres destined for Thomire and Massé, a
goldsmith/jeweller based at the Pont au Change, for ‘works made to an ivory vase ordered by Voisin fils in March 1786
.’ Payments made to François Voisin over 1786-88 suggest he was working on various items, to which the King
himself very probably contributed as well.
The complex design and incredibly precise execution of our ivory vases, made around 1785, can therefore be
attributed to François Voisin; the royal family owned several such vases. This attribution is backed by an album of
plates forming the Nouveau cahier de vases, composés par Voisin Fils, maître de Tour du Roi, which highlights a
model almost identical to the pair now in the Hermitage (cf J. Zeck & B. Rondot, op. cit.), reproduced here in fig. 3.
As we shall see, all the pairs of gilt-bronze-mounted ivory vases known today are different, yet possess numerous
compositional similarities (spiral or straight fluting, precious gilt-bronze ornament) and are assembled in the same
way, with such a degree of precision that it is highly probable the same craftsmen were asked to produce these
masterpieces in turn. Working ivory is incredibly difficult, as each vase is made from a compact block of ivory that
comes from a hollowed tusk, leaving just an openwork structure to form the body of the vase. Such vases can only be
the fruit of close collaboration between two crafts–with the precious materials that compose them, ivory and gilt-
bronze, alternating and combining harmoniously. The complexity of working ivory, and perfectly adapting the gilt-
bronze mounts to the body of the vase, was a task requiring jewel-like precision, often necessitating the skilled
intervention of another craftsman, such as the goldsmith Massé mentioned in the King’s accounts.
After training with Gouthière, Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843) emerged as the period’s up-and-coming bronzier,
and caught the eye through his collaboration with Louis Prieur, chaser and gilder to the King. After succeeding
Duplessis at the Manufacture de Sèvres, Thomire carried out numerous orders for the Crown; his growing fame soon
earned him the reputation as France’s leading bronze specialist. It was, then, perfectly logical that his name should be
associated with such meticulous work – demanding exceptional technical skill and artistic creativity. Bills paid by Louis
XVI reflect Thomire’s involvement in furnishing the gilt-bronze decoration for such vases; their ornamental features,
masks and garlands were part of his repertoire.
Other recorded pairs of Gilt-Bronze-Mounted Ivory Vases:
It is noteworthy that all such vases known today date from the Louis XVI period, and are characterized by immense
refinement – reflecting the supreme perfection attained by the decorative arts in the final years of the Ancien Régime:
– Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (inv. E-4805/4806) – fig. 4.
-from the Chéronnet Sale, Paris 4 December 1840 (lot 330); then Galitsin Collection (Voisin’s corresponding design -
fig. 8)
–Palace of Fontainebleau (inv. F620 C)
-from the Collection of General Moreau, described in his residence in 1804 as ‘two vases in ivory garnished with
gilding, with two cages in gilded copper, with their glasses’ (Arch. Nat. O2 561m d., 3, p. 1); then moved to Salon de
l’Impératrice at Fontainebleau; now in Boudoir of Queen Marie-Antoinette (lacking covers)-figs. 5, 6 & 7.
–Metropolitan Museum, New York (Inv. 41.190.59ab, 60ab) – fig. 8, from the George Blumenthal Collection
–A pair sold at Sotheby’s New York, 20th May 1992 (lot 56) – fig. 9, previously sold at Christie’s London 2nd July
1981 (lot 29); formerly Lord Rothschild Collection, sold at Christie’s 14th May 1970 (lot 14)
– A pair sold at Sotheby’s, New York, 6th November 1982 (lot 14) – fig. 10, from the Irwin Untermeyer Collection;
previously Mrs Henry Walter Collection, sold Parke-Bernett, New York, 26th April 1941 (lot 677); previously Countess
of Carnarvon Collection, Christie’s London, 19th May 1925 (lot 279); former Alfred de Rothschild Collection
– Former J.P. Morgan & Maurice de Rothschild Collections – not illustrated
Ivory Vases in the Rothschild Collections:
The collections of the Kings of France and members of the aristocracy began to be dispersed at the end of the 18th
century. By the mid-19th century they had become a reference-point for the choice of acquisitions made by various
branches of the Rothschild family. This was a golden age for collectors, as they were able to amass extraordinary
ensembles with few constraints – the notion of national artistic heritage was almost non-existent, and the resultant
lack of export controls made it possible for them to pursue their passion for French 18th century artworks to the full.
The accumulation of 18th century masterpieces, combined with a certain idea of modernity, would give rise to the
celebrated ‘Rothschild taste’ echoing that of the Kings of France and including a number of their most sought-after
objets d’art, presented in a context imbued with contemporary standards of comfort.
Three of the seven pairs of Louis XVI ivory vases with gilt-bronze mounts known today are in important public
collections; the other four remain in private hands, and have all passed through the Rothschild Collections at some

In overall very good conserved condition. The quality iof the ivory turning and the gilt-bronze mounts is stunning.The
vases have been cleaned , traces of old restoration removed as some elements refixed. There is an old very minor
repair to one of the struts which needs to be fixed again due to a temperature/humidity change.

Fig. 1

Clock given by Louis XV To Marie Antoinette, Musée de Versailles,


Fig. 2

Vase in the Louvre Museum, Paris

Fig. 3

Title Page Nouveau cahier de vases composés by Voisin Fils,

Maître de Tour du Ro

Fig. 4

One of a pair of vases, Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Fig. 5

View of the boudoir of Marie Antoinette at the Château de


Fig. 6

View of the boudoir of Marie Antoinette at the Château de


Fig. 7

One of a pair of vases at Fontainebleau

Fig. 8

Pair of vases, Metropolitan Museum, New York

Fig. 9

A pair of vases sold Sotheby’s New york, 20th May 1992, Lot 50

Fig. 10

Pair of vases sold Sotheby’s New York, 6th November 1982, Lot 14

Fig. 11

The offered vases in situ, at the Hôtel Lambert around 1970

Fig. 12

Hôtel Lambert Ile Saint-Louis, Paris

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LOT 31
the upright back with moulded and panelled frame inset with a stylized lyre of scrolled
foliate form entwined over the crest rail centred by a leafy finial over brass 'strings' with
flowerhead ties, the square panelled arms with foliate scrolls with pendant husks at the top
curving downwards to inward scrolled bases ornamented with a long leaf, and inset with
brass rods, the upholstered seat on square tapered fluted legs, the feet with collars of
upright stiff leaves above ball toes
88.5cm. high, 59cm. wide, 54cm. deep; 2ft. 10¾in., 1ft. 11¼in., 1ft. 9¼in.

ESTIMATE 60,000-100,000 GBP

Almost certainly supplied to Robert Child Esq. (fig. 1) for his house at 38 Berkeley Square, London.
Thence by descent to his grand-daughter, Lady Sarah Sophia Fane (1785-1867) who married George Villiers, 5th Earl
of Jersey in 1804.
Thence by descent with the Earls of Jersey.
Recorded in the `Inventory of the Household and Decorative Furniture Glass China, Linen, Wines Books Pictures
Carriages Horses & Other Effects in and upon the House Offices and Stabling No 38 Berkeley Square the property of
the late Right Hon.ble the Dowager Countess of Jersey valued for Probate Feby 4th & following days 1867.
Furniture in Front Library HL 3 Mahogany Chairs ( Arm) Lyre backs A- ditto- frame chair'
Furniture in Middle Library HL - 5 mahogany frame Arm Chairs, Lyre backs'
(London City Archive ref. GB 0074 ACC/3076).
The chairs are possibly those referred to in a `Catalogue and Valuation of Furniture, Osterley Park, Middlesex of 1915
records in `The Dining Room 8 Mahogany arm chairs with lyre backs in red Morocco, £144 the set'. (Jersey Archive).
P. Macquoid and R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1954, vo. I, p. 292, fig. 212 (the example
at the Victoria and Albert Museum).
Maurice Tomlin, Catalogue of Adam Period Furniture, London, 1982, p. 146, fig. Q/14.

John Linnell (1729–1796), cabinet-maker, upholster and carver, was the son of the distinguished cabinet-maker
William Linnell (b.c.1703–1763), joining his father's firm in the late 1740s. He studied at St. Martin's Lane Academy,
which had been founded by William Hogarth in 1735, becoming closely acquainted with Rococo design through his
contacts with an international group of fellow students. His talent for design is apparent through the large number
of surviving drawings (many of which are in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum) and was a large factor
in the rapid expansion of the family firm in the early 1750s.
In 1754 the Linnells establised new and larger workshops, together with a dwelling house at 28 Berkeley Square, and
at his father's death in 1763, John Linnell inherited a firm employing some forty or fifty people. The proximity of
Linnell's new premises to the London house of Robert Child at 38 Berkeley Square led to a productive relationship.
Robert Child's brother, Francis, had retained the services of William and John Linnell for the fitting up of Osterley Park
prior to his sudden death in 1763 at which point his entire estate, including Osterley, was left to his brother
Robert. Under Robert Child's patronage John Linnell continued to supply furniture at Osterley, where he worked
alongside Robert Adam in the creation of the wonderful neo-classic interiors. Robert Adam was also engaged to re-
model 38 Berkeley Square, London which had become the town house of the Child family. Much of the furniture
commissioned for Osterley still survives in situ and is expertly documented by Maurice Tomlin, Catalogue of Adam
Period Furniture, London, 1982, groups B-M, pp. 16-102. The 1782 inventory of Osterley lists three sets of chairs with
lyre-form backs, all of which remain and are illustrated by Tomlin, op.cit., figs C/1, E/1 and K/3. The current chairs are
most closely related to a design for a lyre back chair by Linnell, in the collections of the Victorian and Albert Museum,
London (E.80 1929) and published by Helena Hayward and Pat Kirkham, William and John Linnell, London, 1980, vol.
II, p. 38, fig. 62 and reproduced here as fig. 2.
The current chairs, whilst not recognisable in the 1782 inventory, which was undertaken upon Robert Child's death by
Linnell's brother William, do however appear in the 1867 probate valuation recorded at the death of Child's grand-
daughter, the Dowager Countess of Jersey, as listed above, where nine of these chairs are recorded. This does not
appear to have been the complete set, as in addition to the four current chairs, a further six are in the collection of the
Earls of Rosebery at Dalmeny House, Midlothian, four are in a private collection, there is the example in the Victoria
and Albert Museum, London, and finally a single chair was sold from the Collection of Mr. Gerald Hochschild,
Sotheby's London, 1st December 1978, lot 65, suggesting an original set of at least sixteen in all likelihood.
The form and design of these chairs are heavily influenced by the emerging neo-classical influence that was gaining
momentum in the latter years of the 1760s. Most avidly promoted by Robert Adam, the celebrated architect, the desire
to recreate the elegance of the ‘Antique’ was propagated by the discoveries of the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum
earlier in the century. As the aristocracy and the intellectual elite undertook their Grand Tours of Europe, these ruins
became an essential part of such travels. No clearer a classical motif can be found than lyre form back which was
adopted by Adam and subsequently fashioned by all the most celebrated makers of the time, including
Thomas Chippendale in the chairs supplied for Nostell Priory and Brocket Hall.
The lyre motif derives from the Greek God, Apollo. Apollo was one of the twelve Gods of Olympus and was the
embodiment of the classical Greek spirit, standing for the rational and civilized side of man`s nature. He was the
mythological God of poetry, music and dance and leader of the Muses and his stringed lyre was thought to represent
not just artistic sensibilities but also harmony and heavenly peace, social order, and all that was rational in ancient
Greece. The harp-like instrument and its sounds were understandably beloved by the ancient Greeks and the lyre
accompanied recitations of Homer. It is interesting to note that the present chairs were recorded in the front and
middle libraries of 38 Berkeley Square. It would seem likely that they were conceived specifically for these two rooms,
as rooms of classical learning, culture and enlightenment and designed to harmonise with these intellectual ideals as
well as any decorative schemes designed by Adam.

Fig. 1

Robert Child

Fig. 2

Linell’s design for a lyre back chair

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LOT 32
the upright back with moulded and panelled frame inset with a stylized lyre of scrolled
foliate form entwined over the crest rail centred by a leafy finial over brass 'strings' with
flowerhead ties, the square panelled arms with foliate scrolls with pendant husks at the top
curving downwards to inward scrolled bases ornamented with a long leaf, and inset with
brass rods, the upholstered seat on square tapered fluted legs, the feet with collars of
upright stiff leaves above ball toes
88.5cm. high, 59cm. wide, 54cm. deep; 2ft. 10¾in., 1ft. 11¼in., 1ft. 9¼in.

ESTIMATE 60,000-100,000 GBP

Almost certainly supplied to Robert Child Esq. for his house at 38 Berkeley Square, London.
Thence by descent to his grand-daughter, Lady Sarah Sophia Fane (1785-1867) who married George Villiers, 5th Earl
of Jersey in 1804.
Thence by descent with the Earls of Jersey.
Recorded in the `Inventory of the Household and Decorative Furniture Glass China, Linen, Wines Books Pictures
Carriages Horses & Other Effects in and upon the House Offices and Stabling No 38 Berkeley Square the property of
the late Right Hon.ble the Dowager Countess of Jersey valued for Probate Feby 4th & following days 1867.
Furniture in Front Library HL 3 Mahogany Chairs ( Arm) Lyre backs A- ditto- frame chair'
Furniture in Middle Library HL - 5 mahogany frame Arm Chairs, Lyre backs'
(London City Archive ref......)
P. Macquoid and R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1954, vo. I, p. 292, fig. 212 (the example
at the Victoria and Albert Museum).

John Linnell (1729–1796), cabinet-maker, upholster and carver, was the son of the distinguished cabinet-maker
William Linnell (b.c.1703–1763), joining his father's firm in the late 1740s. He studied at St. Martin's Lane Academy,
which had been founded by William Hogarth in 1735, becoming closely acquainted with Rococo design through his
contacts with an international group of fellow students. His talent for design is apparent through the large number
of surviving drawings (many of which are in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum) and was a large factor
in the rapid expansion of the family firm in the early 1750s.
In 1754 the Linnells establised new and larger workshops, together with a dwelling house at 28 Berkeley Square, and
at his father's death in 1763, John Linnell inherited a firm employing some forty or fifty people. The proximity of
Linnell's new premises to the London house of Robert Child at 38 Berkeley Square led to a productive relationship.
Robert Child's brother, Francis, had retained the services of William and John Linnell for the fitting up of Osterley Park
prior to his sudden death in 1763 at which point his entire estate, including Osterley, was left to his brother
Robert. Under Robert Child's patronage John Linnell continued to supply furniture at Osterley, where he worked
alongside Robert Adam in the creation of the wonderful neo-classic interiors. Robert Adam was also engaged to re-
model 38 Berkeley Square, London which had become the town house of the Child family. Much of the furniture
commissioned for Osterley still survives in situ and is expertly documented by Maurice Tomlin, Catalogue of Adam
Period Furniture, London, 1982, groups B-M, pp. 16-102. The 1782 inventory of Osterley lists three sets of chairs with
lyre-form backs, all of which remain and are illustrated by Tomlin, op.cit., figs C/1, E/1 and K/3. The current chairs are
most closely related to a design for a lyre back chair by Linnell, in the collections of the Victorian and Albert Museum,
London (E.80 1929) and published by Helena Hayward and Pat Kirkham, William and John Linnell, London, 1980, vol.
II, p. 38, fig. 62 and reproduced here as fig. 2.
The current chairs, whilst not recognisable in the 1782 inventory, which was undertaken upon Robert Child's death by
Linnell's brother William, do however appear in the 1867 probate valuation recorded at the death of Child's grand-
daughter, the Dowager Countess of Jersey, as listed above, where nine of these chairs are recorded. This does not
appear to have been the complete set, as in addition to the four current chairs, a further six are in the collection of the
Earls of Rosebery at Dalmeny House, Midlothian, four are in a private collection, there is the example in the Victoria
and Albert Museum, London, and finally a single chair was sold from the Collection of Mr. Gerald Hochschild,
Sotheby's London, 1st December 1978, lot 65, suggesting an original set of at least sixteen in all likelihood.
The form and design of these chairs are heavily influenced by the emerging neo-classical influence that was gaining
momentum in the latter years of the 1760s. Most avidly promoted by Robert Adam, the celebrated architect, the desire
to recreate the elegance of the ‘Antique’ was propagated by the discoveries of the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum
earlier in the century. As the aristocracy and the intellectual elite undertook their Grand Tours of Europe, these ruins
became an essential part of such travels. No clearer a classical motif can be found than lyre form back which was
adopted by Adam and subsequently fashioned by all the most celebrated makers of the time, including
Thomas Chippendale in the chairs supplied for Nostell Priory and Brocket Hall.
The lyre motif derives from the Greek God, Apollo. Apollo was one of the twelve Gods of Olympus and was the
embodiment of the classical Greek spirit, standing for the rational and civilized side of man`s nature. He was the
mythological God of poetry, music and dance and leader of the Muses and his stringed lyre was thought to represent
not just artistic sensibilities but also harmony and heavenly peace, social order, and all that was rational in ancient
Greece. The harp-like instrument and its sounds were understandably beloved by the ancient Greeks and the lyre
accompanied recitations of Homer. It is interesting to note that the present chairs were recorded in the front and
middle libraries of 38 Berkeley Square. It would seem likely that they were conceived specifically for these two rooms,
as rooms of classical learning, culture and enlightenment and designed to harmonise with these intellectual ideals as
well as any decorative schemes designed by Adam.
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LOT 33
the spherical tops surmounted by carved with foliage and surmounted by a baluster finial,
banded with a Greek key pattern with applied leaf and paterae ornament, with gadroon
carving below, on a turned bead-carved socle, raised on a triform athenienne ornamented
with ribbons and garlands of husks to the top with trailing husks to the sides, with a
classical urn to the interior, raised on winged sphinxes, on bead-carved plinths
42cm. high; 16½in.

ESTIMATE 80,000-120,000 GBP

By repute : Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). Given by him to his nephew Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte,
(1808-1873), who married Doña María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox-Portocarrero de Guzmán y Kirkpatrick,
16th Countess of Teba and 15th Marquise of Ardales in 1853 and who also became Emperor Napoleon III in 1853.
Subsequently acquired by Charles F. Lumb who acquired the yacht, `Thistle', circa 1914 which had belonged to
Empress Eugènie. The yacht was presented by Mr Lumb to the Admiralty for service in the First World War, the
furnishings including the ivory orb ornaments being returned to Mr Lumb. They passed to Charles Lumb`s daughter,
Mrs Margarita E.Gordon. The reputed provenance is based on a letter written by Mrs Gordon which describes the
provenance. One sold anonymously Philips, London 12th February 1980, lot 136. The other given by Mr Lumb to Miss
Eleonora Randolph Seals, Boston, Massachusetts. Both acquired by Michael Hogg, London and then sold to S. Jon

Illustrated Edward Lennox-Boyd, Masterpieces of English Furniture, The Gerstenfeld Collection, 1998, London, pl.61,
p.222. pl. and pl.108, p.143.
Comparative Literature
N. Goodison, `William Chambers`s Furniture', Journal of the Furniture History Society, 1990, vol. XXVI, p.67-89.
Amin Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, A Catalogue of the Collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum
and the Peabody Essex Museum, 2001, pp.238-261.

Ivory Carving in Murshidabad
The present exquisite ivory orbs and candelabra were almost certainly carved in the late 18th century in
Murshidabad, North East India, in the province of Bengal. Murshidabad takes its name from the Nawab
Murshid Quilui Khan, the Mughal Governor of Bengal who in the early 18th century moved the capital of
Bengal from Dacca to Murshidabad, renaming the city after himself. The city strategically positioned for
trading on the Hooghly river rapidly became a centre of political power and was a well-positioned artery of
communication between northern India and the European settlements along the river which was also lead to
Calcutta becoming a major British settlement in that region.
It is not known for certain how Murshidabad became a centre for ivory carving. One theory is that the industry
started in the early 18th century and that the carvers themselves were hereditary image-makers of the Baskar
caste who migrated there from Sylhet in response to the new court and capital. Sylhet itself is noted as a
centre of ivory carving, established as early as 11th century and eastern India has been thought of as a base
for craftsmen for carving pieces of exceptional quality for royal consumption. The other theory is that ivory
was first worked at Murshidbad by a Delhi carver and that his work was copied by a locally based Bhaskar
and his son, Tulsi Khatumbar, the latter being extremely proficient and who became appointed to the Nawab.
The two apprentices that he engaged, Manick Bhaskar and Ram Kishore Bhasker apparently became highly
proficient and through their descendants, the craft became established in the area. The river of course
enabled trade to develop with Europeans and would allow such objects as the present lots to reach a wider
market appreciative of items of great quality.
The form of both the candelabra and orbs is very European in design. The design of the orbs shows the
influences of Sir William Chambers ( 1726-1796) architect to King George III. In particular the athenienne form
of the base raised on winged sphinxes, and the swagged husks can be seen in a design for a clock case by
Chambers for an eight day clock at Windsor Castle, shown illustrated in John Harris, Sir William
Chambers, Knight of the Polar Star, London, 1970, pl.129.
The candelabra show much of the vocabulary of neo-classical ornament seen in the designs of Robert Adam
popularised and promoted by various publications which included Robert and James Adam, Works in
Architecture of Robert and James Adam (in 1773-1778 and 1779) and publication of furniture designs
by Sheraton in his `The Cabinet and Upholster`s Drawing Book, of 1793. It seems that the development and
increasingly sophisticated forms developed from 1790s onwards when the furniture and objects seems to
have followed western models more closely suggesting that the local carvers had developed a greater
understanding of European furniture and object forms. Murshibad craftsmen were also producing figurines
based on European porcelain examples and the present orbs also show these influences.
A pair of candelabra related to lot 34 is illustrated Amin Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, A
catalogue of the collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum, 2001, fig.
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and Emperor Napoleon III
In the late 18th century the French Emperor, Napoleon I ( 1769-1821) carried out extensive military and naval
campaigns in and around Egypt. These Egyptian campaigns were to influence the decorative arts throughout
Europe and motifs from ancient Egypt appeared in many designs for furniture and associated objects at this
time and in the early 19th century. Egyptian motifs can be seen in the sphinx supports in the orb ornaments
which reflect this interest. It is quite possible that the orbs and candelabra could have been acquired by or
presented to Napoleon I in recognition of these campaigns. Both pairs of items were made at the time when
his power was rising and would have been perceived as an appropriate gift.
By repute these pieces were given by Napoleon I to his nephew, the future Emperor Napoleon III, (1808-1873).
The circumstances of the gift or acquisition are not known but could conceivably have been made
immediately before Napoleon I`s exile in 1815 to St Helena. Under Emperor Napoleon I, the residences of the
court included the Palace of Compiègne and also the Palace of Malmaison. Both of these palaces were to
become residences of Napoleon III. In the case of the Palace of Compiègne, the contents of the palace had
been entirely dispersed during the revolution and on the orders of Napoleon I, the palace had been re-
furbished. Much of the new furnishings had remained in situ from 1811 until 1855, when the palace was used
again by the French Court. As items dating from Napoleon I`s era were still in the Palace, the present lots
might also have been acquired by Napoleon III at this time.
Malmaison had been bought bought by Empress Josephine in 1797 on the strength of funds from Napoleon`s
Egyptian campaigns and improved by her and was occupied by Napoleon until his defeat at Waterloo and
exile to Elba and then Saint Helena. Malmaison was subsequently purchased by Napoleon III in 1861 and it is
possible that some original contents remained and the present ivories acquired then.
Forced into exile in 1870 and joined by her husband six months later, the Empress Eugènie had left with little
more than the clothes she stood up in. The Emperor Naploeon III joined her six months later following six
months in Germany as a prisoner following the Franco-Prussian war. The Empress lived in exile in a rented
house called Camden Place, Chislehurst and eventually was allowed to return to France, which she did from
time to time to her villa at Cap-Martin, Biarritz, on the agreement that she would not be involved with any
political activity. She also owned Thistle (see fig. 1) at this period and it is therefore possible that the present
lots were placed on the yacht on one of these Biarritz visits. The Empress continued to reside in England
where she eventually died in 1920.
Whatever the circumstances of the acquisition of the present ivories, it seems entirely plausible that they
could have belonged to Napoleon I. They also demonstrate Napoleon III`s concept of monarchy as a
supporter of historic craft and promoter of the trade in luxury goods and would have also been objects that
would have appealed both to him personally and to his Empress, Eugènie. During their eventful lives they
would certainly have had opportunities to have acquired them and the provenance therefore does seem
entirely plausible.

For comparison see Sotheby`s London, Arts of Europe, 4th December 2012, lot 450, a Murshidabad ivory
candlestick of griffin form, sold £62,000.

Fig. 1

The yacht Thistle

Fig. 2

Empress Eugénie
Treasures, Princely Taste
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LOT 34
in the form of gadroon-carved urns with pierced ornament, carved for glass hurricane
shades, on guilloche-carved circular columns ornamented with garlands of husks, raised
on leaf-carved atheniennes on a circular bead-carved plinth within a collar of carved ivory
foliage, raied on a triform platform carved with husks and surmounted by urns on fluted
50cm. high; 1ft 7 ¾ in. (excluding glass hurricane shades)

ESTIMATE 100,000-150,000 GBP

By repute : Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). Given by him to his nephew Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte,
(1808-1873), who married Doña María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox-Portocarrero de Guzmán y Kirkpatrick,
16th Countess of Teba and 15th Marquise of Ardales in 1853 and who also became Emperor Napoleon III in 1853.
Subsequently acquired by Charles F. Lumb who acquired the yacht, `Thistle', circa 1914 which had belonged to
Empress Eugènie. The yacht was presented by Mr Lumb to the Admiralty for service in the First World War, the
furnishings including the ivory orb ornaments being returned to Mr Lumb. They passed to Charles Lumb`s daughter,
Mrs Margarita E.Gordon.
Anonymous sale, Phillips London, 12 February 1980, lot 135.
Acquired from Michael Hogg, London by S. Jon Gerstenfeld.

Illustrated Edward Lennox-Boyd, Masterpieces of English Furniture, The Gerstenfeld Collection, 1998, London, pl.62,
p.223. pl. and pl.109, p.145.
Comparative Literature
N. Goodison, `William Chambers`s Furniture', Journal of the Furniture History Society, 1990, vol. XXVI, p.67-89.
Amin Jaffer, Furinture from British India and Ceylon, A Catalogue of the Collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum
and the Peabody Essex Museum, 2001, pp.238-261.
Treasures, Princely Taste
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LOT 35
with a rectangular padded top-rail on fluted wrythen-carved uprights, the lattice splat
formed of crescents and scrolled interlaced designs centred with a star, carved to both
sides, the bowed stuffed seat carved with foliage and ribbon ties, on spirally fluted tapering
legs headed by acanthus, each with a label for the gilder Louis Chatard partially printed
and in manuscript inscribed `Année 178 9 GARDE-MEUBLE DU ROI/ Suivant/ l`ordre../ No.
62/ CHATARD Peintre & Doreur,/ A PARIS/ Pour M Elizabeth/. Chateau /a Montreuil/
94cm. high, 52cm. wide, 54cm. deep; 3ft. 1in., 1ft. 8½in., 1ft. 9¼in.

ESTIMATE 200,000-400,000 GBP

Supplied to Elisabeth Philippine-Marie-Hélène de France, known as Madame Elisabeth, (1764-1794) for the salon de
Compagnie at the Chateau de Montreuil in 1789.
Sold during the Revolutionary sales and subsequently acquired by Augustin Louis Joseph Casimir Gustave de
Franquetot, Maquis and subsequently Duc de Coigny, born 1788. (Augustin was the grandson of Marie Francois de
Franquetot, Maquis and Duc de Coigny, peer and Marshall of France, created 1814, born 1737, (entering the King`s
service in 1752), and was created Governor des Invalides. He died in 1821. The father of Augustin was Francois
Marie Casimir de Franquetot, Maquis de Coigny, (1756-1816) who had the rank of Lieutenant General).
Augustin married Henrietta Dalrymple Hamilton (d.1869) and the chairs passed by inheritance to their daughter Fanny
(d.1910) who had married Sydney William Herbert, 3rd Earl Manvers (1825-1900).
The chairs passed to their daughter Lady Emily Annora Charlotte Pierrepont ( d.1935) who had married Frederick
Lygon, 6th Earl Beauchamp, ( b.1830) as his second wife in 1878. They had two daughters, Lady Agnes Lygon and
Lady Maud Lygon. The chairs passed on the death of Lady Beauchamp to Lady Maud who had married Sir Samuel
Hoare, subsequently Viscount Templewood. On the death of Lady Templewood , the chairs passed to Juliet Agnes
Peel, the daughter of Lady Agnes Lygon, and thence by family descent to the present vendor.

Pierre Verlet, French Royal Furniture, 1963, illustrated pl. 40, pp. 252-254.
Recorded in the ledger of the Garde-Meuble, commencing on 27th March 1789, now in the Archives Nationales (
Archives Nat. 01 3291, p.48).
Recorded in the Mémoire of Jean Baptiste Claud Sené and Alexandre Régnier( Arch. Nat. 01 3649).
Comparative Literature
Bill G.B. Pallot, Furniture Collections in the Louvre, 1993, 2 Vols, Vol II, pp.178-9
Sylvie Legrand-Rossi, Le Mobilier du Musée Nissim de Camondo, 2012, pp.200-201
Pierre Verlet, French Furniture and Interior Decoration of the 18th Century, London, 1967, p.128


Madame Elisabeth
These exquisite and historically important Voyeuses were commissioned for Elizabeth-Philippe-Marie-Hélène de
France, (1764-1794) known as Madame Elisabeth (fig. 1), for use in her Château Montreuil, at Versailles, (fig. 2).
Madame Elisabeth was born in 1764 the second daughter and last child of the dauphin Louis, son of Louis XV and of
Marie-Josèphe of Saxe and sister of Louis XVI (1754 -1793). Born into a world of luxury and regal grandeur,
what ought to have seemed to have been a very happy life was in fact tinged with sadness culminating in her
tragic execution by guillotine in 1794.
Her childhood must in many ways must have been rather lonely. She lost both parents by the age of three, her
grandmother Marie-Josèphe died in 1768. In 1774 her grandfather Louis XV died which resulted in her brother
succeeding as King Louis XVI of France. She was only aged 10 by this time. She was close to her sister Clothilde who
in 1775 married Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia (1751-1819) and was devastated when she left. They were never
to meet again. In 1778 when the court went to Marly, Madame Elisabeth was resigned into Louis XVI`s hands by her
governess, the Princesse de Guemenée. Comtesse Diane de Polignac became her Lady of Honneuer and Marquise
de Serent her lady in waiting. At the age of fifteen she stated 'My education is not finished, I shall continue it under the
same rules; I shall keep my masters, and the same hours will be given to religion, the study of languages, belles-
letteres, instructive conversations, and to my walks and rides on horseback’. Queen Marie-Antoinette was to become
particularly close to her and wrote (refering to the departure of the sister Clothilde) to her mother Maria Therese ‘ My
sister Elisabeth is a charming child, who has intelligence, character, and much grace; she showed the greatest
feeling, and much above her age at the departure of her sister'. In 1781, the King bought the property of the Princesse
de Guemenée at Montreuil knowing it had many happy memories from her childhood for Madame Elisabeth. He asked
Queen Marie-Antoinette to give her this surprise. The Queen said to Madame Elisabeth when they were out together; '
If you like, we will stop on our way at Montreuil, where you were so fond of going when a child’. As soon as they had
entered the salon the Queen said `Sister you are in your own house. This is to be your Trianon. The king, who gives
himself the pleasure of giving it to you, gives me the pleasure of telling you’. The Princess was at this time aged
seventeen and her majority had been fixed at the age of twenty five. The furnishing and refurbishment of the
house was commissioned in 1788 in anticipation of her majority the following year.
Madame Elisabeth was not able to enjoy her beautiful house for long. On 6th October 1789 several months after her
25th birthday her life and that of the Royal Family was to change dramatically with the events of the French revolution
and she was with them forced to leave for Paris. She joined the Royal family in their attempted flight to Varennes from
France and was subsequently brought back to Paris with the King and Queen and moved with them into the Tuileries.
Madame Elisabeth was present at the Legislative Assembly when Louis XVI was suspended. Refusing the
opportunity to leave France, she was imprisoned on the 10th August in 1792 with the royal family in the Temple.
Louis XVI was executed on 21 Jan 1793 and Marie-Antoinette on 16th October 1793. Queen Marie-Antoinette`s last
letter written in the early hours of the morning of her execution was addressed to Madame Elisabeth but never
reached her. Elisabeth was kept in ignorance of her execution. She remained with their daughter, the Madame
Royale, until 9th May 1794 when she was transferred to the Conciergerie. The following day she was condemned to
death accused of assisting the King`s flight, of supplying emigrés with funds and of encouraging the resistance of the
Royal troops on 10th August 1792. On 10th May 1794 she was guillotined having shown exceptional courage on the
journey to the scaffold and on the scaffold itself. She was buried in an unmarked grave in La Madeleine cemetery.
Following her enforced move to Paris, seals had been placed on her residence. An inventory had been carried out of
the contents in 1790 which valued the furniture in entirety at 32,523 l. Recorded in the `Sallon [sic] de Compagnie… 4
chaises en voyeuses a genouils dont 2 a dossiers garnis et 2 a jour..’. The furniture was removed in August 1793 only
when it had established that everything was in place and was dispersed by auction in November 1793.
It is not known how the voyeuses came in to the collection of Duc de Coigny. Much of the seat furniture was
purchased at the auction of 1793 by the merchants Huart senior and Marceaux and it is possible that these voyeuses
were also purchased by them and subsequently sold to him following the Restoration. Coming from a distinguished
family with strong links with the ancien regime, it does not seem unreasonable that he would wish to acquire furniture
associated with it. It is also interesting to note that the coat of arms of the Duc de Coigy comprises three crescents
and three stellar motifs, motifs which can also be seen on the back of the voyeuses which might also have been a
motivation for their acquisition.

The Commission
The furniture for the Château of Montreuil was amongst the last commissions delivered by the Garde-Meuble before
the Revolution.
The present Voyeuses were made by Jean-Baptiste Sené ( 1748-1803), carved by Alexandre Régnier and gilded by
Louis Chatard. Sené received maître in 1769 and along with Georges Jacob, dominated the production of seat
furniture in Paris during the last years of the ancien regime. Sené`s principal clients were the king and queen and he
supplied furniture which was largely destined for Versailles and St Cloud. Régnier was one of several favoured
carvers who also included Pierre Laurent and Nicolas Vallois, to whom Sené subcontracted work. Louis Chatard was
the leading painter- gilder of his day, particularly between 1784-1789 when he seemed to enjoy a virtual monopoly on
pieces destined for the king and queen. His label still remains on both of the present Voyeuses, (see fig. 3).
The present Voyeuses belong to a suite of furniture supplied for Montreuil details of which are recorded in Mémoires
of Sené, Régnier and Chatard.
Recorded in the ledger of the Garde-Meuble, commencing on 27th March 1789, now in the Archives Nationales (
Arch. nat., 013581, devis; 013649, m/mémoires; 013493, aestat d`estimation) :
`1 avril 1789- Madame Elisabeth à Montreuil. Salon de Compagnie n. 54 - Séné foumira la Menuiserie préparée pour
la sculpture de:
..4 Voyeuses agenouillées..' ( Archives Nat. 01 3291, p.48).

Sené records: `1er September 1789… Montreuil. Pour le service de Madame Elizabeth.. Sallon de Compagnie. Suitte
du No.54. La menuiserie de deux canapés.., six tetes a tetes…, quatre bergeres.., un ecrant…, six chaisses a
carreaux.., douze chaise ydeme pour garnire…, deux chaisses en voyeuse ydeme…, deux voyeuses ydeme a
collonne, les dossier a jours, a 27 l., ce…’

Régnier records: ` 1er semester 1789, Montreuil. Pour le service de Madame Elisabeth. Mois d`avril, le 4 No. 54.-
Fourni la sculptureen meuble designee ci-après. Savoir. Pour le Salon: Deux canappés.. Six Tetes a tets.. Quatre
bergeres.. Un ecran.. Deux voyeuses don’t les dossiers ont été faits pour etre garnis…
Les deux autre voyeuses a dossiers a jour formant trois forms rondes et autres en lozanges, le tout travaille des deux
cotés, don’t les ornements sont une double étoile, et les forms decorés de perles et fond plat a filet, le tout place entre
deux colonnes a callenures droite et callenures torces en quatre divisions, a chaque division deux petit tors de perles,
la traverse du bas des dossiers en baluster et callenures torces at feuilles des oleil et rosettes sur des deux faces,
feuilles d`eau au pourtour du plateau, cintures et lkes pieds comme les autres sieges ci avant détaillés, pour une …
40l., ensemble les deux voyeuses a dossiers a jour… 80l’. (Arch. Nat. 01 3649)

Chatard in his Memoire records` 1er semestre 1789,,, Montreuil.. Madame Elisabeth… 1er Avril. No. 54… Salon de
Compagnie.- La doreure faite avec la mem attention des meubles aussi très riches de sculpture: 2 grand canapés.. 6
tete a tete…, 4 bergeres.., 18 chairse.., 2 chaises en voyeuses, dossier a jour, 4 fauteuils rond en gondolle…’ ( Arch.
Nat. 01 3649).
The present voyeuses and the other pieces of the suite in terms of quality and design are closely linked with other
pieces supplied for other members of the French Royal family for other residences. They share the same crispness of
carving and some of the foliate detail seen on a fauteuil en cabriolet attributed to Sené and made for the use of
Marie-Antoinette at St Cloud, now at Versailles in the collection of Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de
Trianon ( ref. Inv. V 5357) illustrated in the exhibition catalogue entitled Marie-Antoinette, Paris, 2008, pl. 156. Other
similarities can also be drawn with a suite supplied by Francois Toussant Foliot for the Grand Cabinet of Marie-
Antoinette at Versailles, which share similar mille-fleurs carved detail to the rails and carving to the legs, illus. Marie-
Antoinette, op.cit., pl. 150 and also Pierre Verlet, op. cit, p.210-218.
The `Salon de Compagnie’ at Montreuil referred to in the mémoire of Sené was the most elaborately decorated of all
the rooms at Montreuil. Ornamented with carved and gilded boiseries, it was lit by eight windows on three different
sides. The colour scheme of the upholstered furniture was blue grey and white of a pattern known as Cyclope and
depicted classical figural scenes amidst garlands of foliage and floral motifs. The fabric matched the curtains and
other draperies in what must have been a magnificent room. The original silk damask fabric was supplied by Louis
Reboul, of Fontebrune et Cie. It had originally been supplied in 1785 to the Garde-Meuble and used at Fontainebleau
in the Salon des Jeux, the salon of Thierry de Ville-d`Avray of the Garde-Meuble in Paris, the Grand Cabinet of
Madame Elisabeth at Versailles and finally the salon of Marie-Antoinette at the Tuileries. Since recovered with a late
18th century French Lyonnaise cerise and green silk damask fabric, woven with baskets, flowers and bow motifs,
nonetheless traces of this original fabric can be found on the present voyeuses beneath this later fabric.
The form of the present chairs is principally related with gaming. Throughout the 18th century there was a great
passion for cards where play often continued from morning to night. The passion was particularly prevalent during the
reign of Louis XVI and menuisiers were instructed to make chairs which would enable spectators to watch the gaming
tables with comfort. The high padded back enabled those to sit and lean and rest their elbows whilst watching a game
of cards. They were intended always for spectators and never for those actually playing games.
Other pieces from the suite are known and include a pair of bergeres stamped I B SENE, now in the collection of the
Louvre, Paris, illustrated Bill G.B. Pallot, Furniture Collections in the Louvre, 1993, pl.64, p.179, (see fig.4), another
bergere similarly stamped is in the Collection of the Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et Trianaon ( ref. V
2011.32), a side chair also in the same collection, ( ref. V5190), and a voyeuse with rails of identical form to the
present examples but with a padded and upholstered back, now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston ( fig.5)., this and
the preceding two pieces are illustrated in the Exhibition catalogue entitled Madame Elisabeth, Une Princesse au
destin Tragique 1764-1794, 2013, pp.110-113. Three further voyeuses were delivered to Montreuil by Séné and
Régnier in 1789 for the room known as the `salon turc’. These were painted in shades of grey and white and were
carved with crescent motifs to the rails. Two now form part of the Collection of the Nissim de Camondo Museum,
Paris, and another is in the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris (fig.6). For further comparison see Sotheby`s New York,
Important French & Continental Furniture, Decorations & Ceramics, October 22, 2005, lot 78, sold $300,000. A
bergère from the same suite as the present voyeuses was sold Christie`s London, Magnificent French Furniture and
Works of Art, Christie`s London, 12th December 2002, lot 105, sold incl. premium £105,650.

Fig. 1

Elisabeth Philippine-Marie-Hélène de France © RMN-Grand Palais

(Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot / Franck Raux

Fig. 2

Jardin de Madame Elisabeth at Château Montreuil, at Versailles, ©

Bibliothèque nationale de France

Fig. 3

Louis Chatard’s label on present Voyeuses

Fig. 4

Bergeres stamped I B SENE, © RMN Musée du Louvre, Paris

Fig. 5

Voyeuse by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené, © Museum of Fine Arts,


Fig. 6

Voyeuse by Sené painted in shades of grey and white © Musée des

arts décoratifs, Paris
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 36
3½-inch restored enamel dial with centre seconds, the five pillar two train fusee movement
with verge escapement and striking the hours on a bell, the backplate with engraved
border, the case with shaped top and bud finial above canted scroll corners, paste-set
bezel, the plinth with an automaton paste-set whorl, on splay scroll feet
37cm. 14½in. high

ESTIMATE 45,000-70,000 GBP

This form of case is known as the 'scroll angle' design and was most used by Henry Borrell and John Mottram
although other unsigned and Chinese examples are known. A clock by Borrell of very similar design and with the
same bird mounts as this example is in the Palace Museum, Beijing and is illustrated and discussed along with others
in Ian White, English Clocks for the Eastern Markets, pg. 230 Fig.8.19.

From the mid-eighteenth century onwards, the West increasingly focused their attention on objects that could be
exported to help balance an increasing trade gap between East and West. This was further fuelled by the massive
demand in the West for exotic Asian wares such as textiles, porcelain, lacquer and of course tea.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 37
the circular bases with overlapping leaf-tip borders, rising to three flowerheads at intervals,
acanthus and overlapping bud decorated baluster stems, campana-shaped sconces,
detachable circular nozzles, mainly stamped with the number '3'
28.5cm, 11 1/2 in high
13,025gr, 418oz 14dwt

ESTIMATE 100,000-150,000 GBP

Catherine the Great, purchased in 1777 and allocated to the Governor of Tula
Paul I, Mikhailovsky Palace, St. Petersburg
By descent at the Winter Palace
Sold under Soviet rule, probably early 1920s
Private UK Collection

Baron A. Foelkersam, Inventories of the Silver of the Court of His Imperial Highness, Volume II, St. Petersburg, 1907,
British Art Treasures from Russian Imperial Collections in the Hermitage, edited by Brian Allen and larissa
Dukelskaya, Yale Centre for British Art, 1996, pp.131-32
E. Alfred Jones, The Old English Plate of the Emperor of Russia, London, 1909, pp. lvj & 92-92, pl. XLVI
N.M. Penzer, 'English Plate at the Hermitage, Part 2,' The Connoisseur, London, January 1959, p.18, fig. 25
Comparative literature:
Marina Lopato, 'English silver in St. Petersburg,' British art treasures from Russian imperial collections in the
Hermitage, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1996, pp. 131-132

Under Catherine the Great, Russia was divided in the mid 1770s into 11 provinces, a number which was increased to
40 by 1796. Governors were appointed by the Empress to each of the provinces and each was allocated a silver table
service befitting his viceregal dignity. In all, four, possibly five, of these services were ordered from London, beginning
in 1774 with one for the Province of Tver, followed by another for Volynsk; these cost not less than 125,000 roubels
apiece. The next, in May 1776, was for Tula, about 100 miles south of Moscow, whose governor at the time was
General Mikhail Krechetnikov (1729-1793); while the fourth was for Yaroslav. These latter two, which appear to have
cost up to twice as much as the first, arrived at St. Petersburg in May 1777, when customs payments for them were
made amounting to 6,240 roubles.
Following Catherine’s death in November 1796, her son, Tsar Paul I, recalled all the governors’ silver services to St.
Petersburg for his own use. Writing in 1909 in The Old English Plate of the Emperor of Russia (p. lvj), E. Alfred Jones
noted that, ‘Of the Tula service there still remain [in St. Petersburg] thirty-eight fine tall candlesticks by Thomas
Heming, 1776-77; a rare octofoil shape of salver, by John Carter; and eight charming little salvers with pierced borders
by Robert Jones and John Schofield [sic], all of the same date, 1776-77. In addition to these there are eight oval and
twenty-three round dishes of silver, date 1776-77 and 1777-78.’
After sales in the early Soviet era, the Hermitage now retains only two of the Heming candlesticks and five dishes. Of
the remainder, two oval meat dishes and a pair of oval meat dishes, George Heming & William Chawner, 1776, were
sold at Sotheby’s, New York, on 13 October 2007, lots 109 and 110; a single meat dish, Heming & Chawner, 1776,
was sold at Sotheby’s, Paris, on 25 November 2010, lot 189; and fifteen second course dishes, Heming & Chawner,
1776, were sold at Sotheby’s, New York, on 30 March 2011, lot 571. In addition, eight candlesticks from the service,
all Thomas Heming, 1776, were sold at Sotheby’s, London, on 11 November 1993, lot 451.
The present 16 sticks are therefore the largest number to have survived as a group from the Tula service.

Fig. 1

Portrait of Mikhail Krechetnikov - Dmitry Levitsky The State

Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg © The General State Hermitage
Museum/Photo By Vladimir Terebenin, Leonard Kheifets, Yuri
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 38
each vase of archaic Chinese flask form, the larger vase with moulded lines and two square
holes on each side of foot, with ormolu gadrooned rims, on a laurel wreath foot and square
base, ram's head mounts surmounted by husks garlands and angular handles, the pair of
smaller vases with moulded strap ornaments and animal-shaped handles, with conforming
ormolu rims and bases, the laurel garland mounts suspended from rings embellished with
lamb's head, each with incised mark 5 to the underside
23cm, 9 1/8 in and 28cm, 11cm high

ESTIMATE 250,000-500,000 GBP

This magnificent gilt-bronze-mounted Sèvres garniture is a fascinating and most unusual example of the fashion for
lachinage, the Paris version of the European passion for all aspects of the Oriental, in the early to middle part of the
eighteenth century.
The general fashion for Far Eastern works of art might well be said to have found its beginnings in the last years of the
17th century1, but the specific taste for ormolu-mounted oriental porcelain seems to have developed later in the 18th
century, and the Parisian marchands-merciers played a crucial role. These influential dealers were the arbiters and
shapers of fashion, and provided the most up-to-date “curiosities propres pour l’ornement des appartments”2.
Sometimes they themselves were bronze- founders, commissioning works from the Sèvres factory and elsewhere, but
generally they acted as the co-ordinators of artisans from numerous guilds, designing new models to adapt rare and
exotic materials, especially from the Far East, to the Parisian taste. Their products ranged from gold-mounted
snuffboxes to furniture with Japanese or Chinese lacquer panels.
As ever larger quantities of oriental porcelain were imported to Europe throughout the eighteenth century, and the
porcelain alone was thus losing its exceptional character, the marchands-merciers ingeniously mounted the pieces in
ever more elaborate gilt-bronze Rococo mounts. The asymmetrical C-scroll and acanthus fitted in perfectly with the
Oriental aesthetic, and with ideas of non-European perspective and arbitrary distribution of figures and landscape; see
for example the pair of ormolu-mounted celadon porcelain vases of circa 1745-1750, lot XXVII in this sale. The
purpose was no longer simply to emphasize the exotic character of the porcelain, but to modify their foreign
appearance, sometimes even giving them a new function, as incense burners or pot-pourri holders with pierced
Even if several marchands-merciers were dealing in lachinage in Paris earlier3, the real explosion seems to have
happened very suddenly in the 1740s. The first French Crown purchases of the kind were in 1741, only a year after a
large consignment of such goods for Mlle la Comtesse de Mailly, one of Louis XV’s mistresses, was acquired for her
apartment. By 1748, the rage for mounted oriental porcelain was at its peak, and, in his journal for that period, the
doyen of marchands-merciers, Lazare-Duvaux, recorded innumerable pieces delivered to his clients, more than 150 to
the Marquise de Pompadour alone4.
As progressively, in the 1760s-1770s, the development of a more austere neoclassical taste, or goût à la grecque,
appeared, the monochrome Chinese and Japanese pieces became more en vogue. Simultaneously, economic
pressures were brought on the marchands-merciers to patronize the newly created French porcelain made by the
Sevres manufactory. Lazare-Duvaux himself, who was attached to the factory as an advisor, provided an increasing
number of mounted pieces in porcelaine de France.
Significantly, the Sèvres factory began at this point to produce monochrome wares of oriental forms, of which this
garniture is a perfect example. The plaster model for the smaller vases of this garniture is recorded as ‘vase indien B’
(fig. 3) and is remarkably close to a Qianlong (1736-95) celadon prototype (fig. 4)5. The form of the larger vase is so
far unidentified in the Sèvres archives but an ormolu-mounted Chinese Celadon porcelain vase of the type is depicted
in the portrait of Baron de Besenval (fig. 1). The turquoise colour itself, or bleu celeste, one of the most fashionable
colours of the 1760s, somewhat echoes the colour used on porcelain during the Kangxi period (1654-1722)6. The
turquoise ‘pot-pourri en coquille’ or ‘sucrier limacons’, after a Qing dynasty (1662-1722) model, is probably the most
frequently found example (fig. 5 & 6) and pairs were acquired by Madame du Barry, the 6th Earl of Coventry, and the
Duc d’Aumont. Horace Walpole also owned a pair of turquoise pots-pourri at Strawberry Hill, and there is some doubt
as to whether these were in fact Sèvres or Chinese examples7.
The Sèvres pieces were indeed not marked with the factory's usual interlaced L mark, most probably in order to pass
as genuine Chinese porcelain. Alexandre Brongniart, director of the factory, was himself deceived by a pair of ormolu-
mounted green ewers that he acquired in 1829, for the Musée Céramique de Sèvres8. The shapes of the vases now
offered for sale are very rare; the porcelain of the garniture was formerly considered to be Chinese. It is only very
recently that it was identified as Sèvres, which is confirmed by a barely noticeable modeller’s incised mark 5 on the
underside of each vase (Fig. 2), indicating that the vases are indeed made of French soft-paste porcelain. According
to Dame Rosalind Savill, the modeller who used this mark was working mainly in the 1750s-1760s on flower, pot-
pourri and ornamental vases9.
Vessels in these pseudo-oriental forms seem to have been specially intended to be mounted in ormolu by the
marchands-merciers, and were described as such (‘vases à monter’) in the Sèvres records. See, for example, a pair
of Sèvres bleu céleste vases from the Wrightsman collection, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, with Greek-
key pattern handles linked by swags of laurel leaves10.
A charming feature of the mounts on the present vases is the way in which the large vase is mounted with ram's
heads and the smaller pair of vases with lamb's heads thus differentiating between a lamb and full-grown ram on the
smaller and larger vase respectively.
Appointed marchand privilégié du Roi in 1753, the marchand mercier Jean Dulac (1704-1786) was a jeweller and
perfumier by profession based, with his wife, in the fashionable rue Saint-Honoré. He was also one of the few
merchants granted the privilege to retail Sèvres porcelain in Paris, together with Madame Lair, the widow of Michel-
Joseph Lair, and Grouet. Dulac's name is frequently found in the archives of the factory between 1758-1776, and he is
known to have provided ormolu-mounted Sèvres porcelain to the nobility, including Madame du Barry. Horace
Walpole came to his shop À la Tête d'Or, in November 1765 and acquired a three-piece garniture of mounted Sèvres
porcelain, also in blue celeste, for his friend John Chute11.
1. Notably after the arrival in 1684 and 1686 of two Siamese embassies at the court of Versailles, see F. Watson,
Oriental mounted porcelain, International Exibition Foundations, 1986.
2. Savery de Brustalons, Dictionnaire de Commerce etc., 1691. See G. Wilson, Mounted Oriental porcelain in the J.
Paul Getty Museum, 1999.
3. 1692, the Livre Commode, a sort of shoppers’ guide, lists nearly twenty dealers in lachinage in Paris.
4. Livre-journal de Lazare Duvaux, marchand-bijoutier ordinaire du roy 1748-1758, Pour la Société des bibliophiles
françois, 1873
5. Dame Rosalind Savill, 'Two pairs of Sèvres vases', Apollo, August 1979, pp. 128-133
6. S. Eriksen, The James A. de Rothschild collection at Waddesdon Manor, Sèvres porcelain, Fribourg, 1968 p. 28.
7 Christie's London, 8 December 1994, lot 13.
8. S. Eriksen, op. cit., p. 232
9. Dame Rosalind Savill, The Wallace Collection, catalogue of Sèvres porcelain, 1988, pp.1127.
10 F. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1966, vol. II, fig. 272.
11. John Whitehead, The Marchands-Merciers and Sèvres, 1993

Fig. 1

The Baron de Besenval in his salon de Compagnie, Henri-Pierre

Danloux, 1791 © The National Gallery, London

Fig. 2

'Vase indien b’, plaster model, Manufacture de Sèvres

Fig. 3

Celadon glazed porcelain vase, Qianlong period (1736-1795) ©

Victoria and Albert Museum, London / V&A Images
Fig. 4

A pair of Sèvres soft-paste pots-pourris en coquille, circa 1763-1768

© The Forsyth Wickes Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Fig. 5

Pair of Chinese turquoise shells mounted as Containers, the

porcelain, Kangxi period (1662-1722), the mounts, French, 1740-
1750 © William T. / Henry Walters Collection, The Walters Art
Museum, Baltimore
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 39
in the form of a casket, the domed lid revealing a folding mirror and two blue glass bottles
decorated in gilt with musical trophies and flowers in the manner of James Giles, the 1½-
inch white enamel dial with centre seconds, the fusee timepiece movement with dead beat
verge escapement, mounted above the fusee musical movement playing a tune on a
carillon of bells at the hour or at will, an automaton scene to the front with figures
promenading in a landscape and below an enamel plaque depicting a duck which conceals
a further erotic automaton and an erotic scene, the case with a mirrored compartment to
the concave-sided top, all four sides set with enamel plaques by William Hopkins Craft
depicting figures in landscapes, portraits and animals, supported on the howdahs of four
44cm. 17¼in. high

ESTIMATE 400,000-600,000 GBP

Made for the Maharajah of Hyderabad
Gallerie Koller, Zurich 11th March 1963, Lot 110
Private Collection

James Cox, 1723-1800, was apprenticed in 1738 to Humphrey Pugh, a goldsmith and toyman in Fleet Street, London,
and became Free in 1745 as a goldsmith. Almost immediately he went into business on his own account producing
extravagant objects with musical and automata complications. He quickly established a trade with the Far East but the
business failed in 1758 and he was made bankrupt. However, Cox was able to retain his premises in Shoe Lane and
by 1763 he was building a network of craftsmen and out workers to supply more fabulous items, this time to the newly
emerging Indian market. This clock is typical of the pieces produced by Cox, Timothy Wiliamson and William
Carpenter using panels by Craft and movements from other sources to bring together a spectacular effect. One of a
pair, as was usual with the more important items, this is particularly rare in incorporating concealed erotic automata.

William Hopkins Craft, 1731-1811, was a fine artist and miniature painter. Little is known of his early career but he was
born in Lambeth and is thought to have been in Paris before joining David Rhodes in partnership from 1768 when
their enamelling skills were employed by Wedgwood in London. He had a distinctive style using brilliant enamels and
often painted on a large scale. He was one of the few 18th Century enamellists to sign and date his work. Seventeen
of his enamels were exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1774 and 1795. It was not unusual for Craft to duplicate
his work. Some confusion exists about his name. All of his work is signed W Craft or W H Craft but his marriage
license, lodging details and death certificate name him as Croft or Hopkins Croft. Despite his clients having included
royalty, noted politicians, and scientists of the time, he appears to have fallen on hard times in his old age as he was
admitted to the Charter House as a Poor Brother in 1810. A brief obituary appeared in The Gentleman's Magazine:
'Aged 80, Mr Croft, formerly a painter but latterly on the Establishment of the Charter House. He was taken ill on
Clerkenwell Green, and being conveyed home in a coach, expired on entering his apartment'. He was buried in the
Charterhouse cemetery in an unmarked grave on January 24th 1811.
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 40
with a rectangular felt-lined hinged top with a pull-out slide in each side with a steel ratchet
mechanism with a frieze with two raised oblong panels interposed by a gilt-bronze hole
fitting a steel and wooden handle to operate the mechanism to raise the top with a steel bar
forming a lectern for the top, with a raised rectangular vertical panel at each angle above
gilt-bronze collars on fluted turned tapering legs terminating in toupie and ball feet, the
carcass made of mahogany
79cm. high, 115cm. wide, 78cm. deep; 2ft. 7in., 3ft. 9¼in., 2ft. 6¾in.

ESTIMATE 130,000-180,000 GBP

Collection of Count Gian Vincenzo Galanti (1860-1941), Naples, where it was known as `the Hamilton table',
purportedly from the collection of Sir William Hamilton (1731 - 1803);
Thence by descent.
Comparative Literature:
Alvar Gonzáles-Palacios, `Arredi Imperiali per la Fine di Murat a Napoli', Antologia di Belle Arti, NN. 31-32, 1987, pp.
Pierre Arizzoli-Clémentel, Versailles Furniture of the Royal Palace, 17th and 18th centuries, Vol. 2, Dijon, 2002, p.
126, fig. 41.
Patrick Lemmonier, Weisweiler, Paris, 1983.
Alvar Gonzáles-Palacios, Il Gusto dei Principi, Vol. II, Milan, 1993, pp. 80 fig. 141, p. 82, fig. 143, p. 84, fig. 145.
Alvar Gonzáles-Palacios, Daguerre, Lingereux and the king of Naples’s Cabinet at Caserta, Burlington Magazine,
June 2005, pp. 431-442.
Alexandre Pradère, French Furniture Makers the Art of the Ebéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution,
Tours,1989, pp. 389-403.
This incredibly rare and beautifully crafted architect's table bears many hallmarks of Weisweiler’s oeuvre in terms of its
exceptional craftsmanship, beautifully figured thuya veneers and complicated mechanism. The mechanism is in steel
and has an internal wheel operated by a handle and it has the original felt on the top of the table where an architect
could pin drawings which is a rare feature to have survived until now. The steel and bronze mechanism is certainly by
Jean-Gotfitt Merklein (1733-1808), who supplied the best cabinet-makers such as Weisweiler and J.H. Riesener (see
for example the mechanical table which belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette in the Metropolitan Museum, New York).

The authorship of this architect’s table to Adam Weisweiler can also be made on the basis of its strong similarities with
another burr veneer and ebony mechanical writing table stamped A. Weisweiler, sold from the collections of Lily &
Edmond J. Safra, Vol. II, Sotheby’s, New York, 3rd November 2005, lot 185, ($168,000), reproduced here in fig. 1
. Although not an architect’s table, the form and mechanism are extremely similar. It differs from the offered table in
that it has an added superstructure of drawers as it was conceived as a writing table, but the form is similar with a side
drawer and double panelled frieze, gilt-bronze collars on fluted tapering legs and the exact same combination of
toupie and ball feet as on the present table. Also the choicest veneers are used on the offered table and the gilt-
bronze mount on the frieze conceals the winding hole, cranked by a steel handle-the wooden handle section appears
to have been missing on the Safra table which is present on ours.
Weisweiler is known to have produced other types of mechanical furniture and was expert at producing these complex
mechanical pieces of furniture much like his contemporary David Roentgen, such as the popular `tables à thé’ with
their circular rising and falling tiers when released by their respective mechanisms.Virtually all of Weisweiler’s
production was sold by the marchand-merciers notably Dominique Daguerre and by his fellow ébénistes including
Jean-Henri Riesener and Guillaume Benneman. Current literature seems to indicate that Weisweiler made very few
writing or architect’s tables suggesting that the offered table may well have been a special commission by Daguerre
for one of his important clients.
It is worthwhile considering a Louis XVI 'drawing table' attributed to Adam Weisweiler now at Versaille, Pairs, Inv. T
511c, with the mark of the Tuileries during the Restauration period, which was sent from the Garde-Meuble, to the
Petit Trianon in 1868, illustrated by Arizzoli-Clémental, op. cit., p. 126, fig 41. It has lyre shaped legs a precursor to the
Empire style, seen for example on the work tables supplied by Jacob-Desmalter to Pauline Borghese at the Petit
Trianon or the large imperial dressing-tables.
One cannot consider this table without putting it into context with the other Weisweiler furniture which is today still in
Naples. No other city in Italy apart from Naples has such a large number of pieces by Weisweiler. This is due in no
small part to the collection of Joachim Murat (1767-1815), who became King of Naples on 6th August of 1808. The
Queen of Naples, Caroline Bonparte (1782-1839), Napoleon's younger sister, was a client of the celebrated
marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre and Weisweiler was her favourite ébéniste. Alvar Gonzáles-Palacios, op. cit.,
pp. 94-119, illustrates these pieces by Weisweiler in thuyawood, conceived in a similar vein to the offered piece,
although they have elaborate gilt-bronze mounts by Thomire and are later in date than the offered piece, including a
commode and secrétaire en suite, circa 1809-11, now in Palazzo Reale in Naples. Furthermore, Weisweiler furniture
in the King of Naples's Cabinet at Caserta in Naples, has been studied in detail by Alvar Gonzáles-Palacios, The
Burlington Magazine, June 2003, op. cit., pp. 431-442, although this dates from the same period as the offered piece,
the furniture at Caserta was in lacquer. There is documentary evidence containing a long bill from Daguerre and
Lignereux specifying that the aforementioned lacquered pieces acquired on 21st March 1792, for the court of Naples
were destined for Caserta.
Count Gian Vincenzo Galanti (1860-1941), Naples:
The present table comes from one of the most important collections in Naples. Between the end of the 19th and the
beginning of the 20th century, Count Gian Vincenzo Galanti (1860-1941), acquired an important collection half of
which bought by himself and the other half inherited from his father in law, Onorato Gaetani, 7th Prince of Piedmont,
12th Duke of Laurenzana, Grand Count of Alife.
Gian Galanti owned the celebrated `General John Cadwallader's chair' (sold by Sotheby’s in 1982) illustrated in Art at
Auction, 1982-1983, p. 255, fig. 1, attributed to Thomas Affleck of Philadelphia (1770) which had been part of the
collection of General Cadwallader in his house where the first American Parliament had met. He inherited it from his
father in law with other important paintings and maiolica from Palazzo Gaetani. His collection was so highly regarded
that he decided to sell part of it in an important sale that took place in Florence with the Ciardello gallery in 1925. One
of the most prestigious objects sold was a plate representing the Madonna teaching Jesus how to read, reputed to be
‘the most beautiful piece of Deruta manufacture’. In the same sale the Rothschild family bought two tobacco boxes in
porcelain from Naples representing portraits of Marie-Caroline, Queen of Naples.
This architect’s table was always during the 19th century called `the Hamilton table‘ in the 1870 archival papers of
the Galanti family where this table was originally. There were very strong connections of both Sir William Hamilton
(1731– 1803) and Adam Weisweiler (1744-1820) with Naples, so it is therefore hardly surprising that such a
sophisticated table would find itself in a renowned Neapolitan collection. Sir William Hamilton served as British
Ambassador to the Kingdom of Naples from 1764 to 1800. He was also antiquarian, archaeologist and volcanologist.
He could have commissioned from Weisweiler an architect's table for his studies. Unfortunately there is no inventory
of his Neapolitan residence at Palazzo Sessa.
Adam Weisweiler (1744-1820):
Adam Weisweiler, received Master 1778, active until 1809. He was of German origin and established in the rue du
Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris, and became maître in 1778. He is one of the most original ébénistes of the Louis XVI
period and is said to have been born at Neuwied-am-Rhein and trained with David Roentgen.He specialised in luxury
furniture, apparently in the main for the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, whose favourite ébéniste he seems
to have been. According to Pradère, op. cit., p. 389, `the few documented pieces by Weisweiler were almost all
supplied by the marchand-mercier Daguerre who must have had a quasi-monopoly over Weisweiler's luxury pieces',
including the lacquer table supplied in 1784 for Marie-Antoinette at Versailles and later at Saint-Cloud or the lacquer
secrétaire of the same date for Louis XVI's Cabinet Intérieur at Versailles or the mahogany commode of 1788 with
three panels for the Cabinet Intérieur of Louis XVI at Saint-Cloud.
Weisweiler's clientèle was essentially that of Daguerre: the French Royal family, the nobility, foreign royalty including
the Queen of Naples, Marie-Carolina who owed Daguerre 14,225 livres and the King of Naples 5, 977 livres which
probably corresponds to the black lacquer pieces now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (see ante). When
an inventory upon the death of his wife was taken in 1809, numerous sheets are described as `of mottled wood' or
`figured' or `burr-wood'. Amongst his specialities were commodes à vantaux made up the major part of his output and
secrétaires en cabinet. He also produced smaller items of ladies' furniture decorated with precious materials such as
lacquer, porcelain and ebony or Wedgwood biscuit. He preferred to use restrained veneers in ebony and mahogany
and marquetry is almost completely absent from his work. Weisweiler's work is notable for certain idiosyncratic
features: detached angle-mounts of multiple section, toupie feet and interlacing stretchers, as well as for a very high
level of craftmanship and quality of detail particularly in the attachment of the mounts. According to Pradère, op. cit.,
p. 400, `The general impression even on the largest pieces by Weisweiler, is of lightness bordering on fragility.'
Dominique Daguerre, who in 1777, had taken over the highly successful business established by his cousin by
marriage, Simon-Philippe Poirier, was unquestionably the most famous marchand-mercier in Paris. His clientèle
included not only the royal family and princes of the blood, but also titled foreigners, such as the Comte and Comtesse
du Nord who gave him many commissions during their famous visit in 1782. He sold furniture to the French
aristocracy, rich French financiers, and after 1785 when the Garde Meuble stopped employing Riesener, the finest
furniture destined for the King and Queen at Versailles or Saint Cloud was purchased from Daguerre.
Dominique Daguerre had important links with England, he imported furniture from there and is largely credited with
making the `style anglais' fashionable in Paris and the present table is almost English in its appearance. After 1789
when he entered into a partnership with Martin-Eloi Lignereux his business in England expanded, and he maintained
a shop in London. Thus not only did he popularize English taste in France, he also can be credited with bringing
French objects and French taste to England. His English clients, like his French patrons, were royal, aristocratic and
rich, notably the Francophile Prince of Wales, the Duke of Bedford, Duke of York, Lord Spencer and others. His stock
was even sold in England in 1791, three years before his death in 1794.

Fig. 1

Lot 185, Sold Collection Of Lily & Edmond J. Safra, Vol. II,
Sotheby’s New York, 3rd November 2005
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 41
with circular tops raised on baluster stems with tri-form bases applied with neo-classical
decoration on paw feet,
122cm. high; 33cm. diameter of top; 4ft., 1ft. 1in.

ESTIMATE 40,000-60,000 GBP

Commissioned by Henry, Lord Apsley, later 2nd Earl Bathurst (1714-1794), for Apsley (Bathurst) House (see fig. 1),
London for the Great Drawing Room.
Probably dispersed from Apsley House circa 1816-30 when acquired by William John Monson, 6th Baron
Monson (1796–1862), for Burton Hall, Lincolnshire.
Thence by descent at Burton Hall, and after 1958 at South Carlton, Lincolnshire
Anthony Denney, Burton Hall, privately published, 1950, photographed in the Landscape Room, see fig. 3.

Eileen Harris, The Furniture of Robert Adam, London, 1973, fig. 76 (the Adam design for the torchères and
companion mirrors fig. 2).
Eileen Harris, The Genius of Robert Adam, His Interiors, Yale, 2001, p. 15, fig. 11 (the pair formerly with Blairman
Eileen Harris, 'Adam at No. 1 London', Country Life, 1st November 2001, pp. 98-101.

'Apsley House is finished; and most superbly furnished, and, which is not always the case with superb things, it is very
beautiful, and teeming with patriotism, for all her glasses, hangings, and ornaments are entirely English.' So wrote
Hannah More, friend to Lady Bathurst in 1779, a fitting tribute to one of only three London houses that was built,
decorated and furnished by Robert Adam. Henry, Lord Apsley, commissioned Robert Adam to build him a new house
on a plot of land leased from the Crown at the head of Piccadilly after his father, the 1st Earl Bathurst, had sold the
family's dilapidated house in St. James's Square to Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn who also commissioned the Edinburgh
born architect. Adam set to work in 1771 on this desirable site bordering Hyde Park creating a simpler Georgian brick
building than the grand Bath stone clad building now present and celebrated for its nineteenth century owner the Duke
of Wellington. Adam's design was somewhat tempered by the existence of an earlier stable block, though through his
brilliant creativity he created a fluent series of rooms on the ground floor, making full use of the asymmetrical footprint
with the inclusion of an oval stairwell and the first floor drawing room, in which these torchères were placed,
was designed with an apsidal end. Given free rein over the interior decoration and the design of the furniture, Adam
proceeded in creating a neo-classical tour de force only part of which remains in today's building. Many of the designs
for Robert Adam's scheme are however retained in the Sir John Soane's Museum where the drawing for the current
torchères with a companion mirror, dated 31 January 1778 (vol. 20, no. 169, box 3) is retained and which is
reproduced by Eileen Harris, The Furniture of Robert Adam, London, 1973, fig. 76, see fig. 2. Further designs
indicating the splendour of the original interiors are reproduced by Eileen Harris, 'Adam at No. 1 London', Country Life
, 1st November 2001, pp. 98-101.
Adam based his design for these torchères on the 1st century A.D. candelbrum from Santa Costanza, Rome and now
in the Salle dei Candelabri II in the Vatican Museum. The form evidently became a popular model for Adam, a further
design for the Etruscan Room at Osterley, Middlesex inscribed 'Chimney board for the Etruscan Dressing room at
Osterly' and also retained in the Soane Museum shows a similarly formed stand for use on a mantle and is dated 2
June 1777, just six months prior to the Apsley House design (see Soane Museum, vol. 24, no. 221; pl J/2b and
illustrated in M. Tomlin, Catalogue of Adam Period Furniture, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982, p.81, fig J/2b). For
Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn's house at 20 St James's Square, one of the three fully Adam designed and furnished
London houses, together with Lansdowne House for the Earl of Bute, he supplied a suite of similar torchères in
varying sizes, the larger of which were formerly in the Eric Moller Collection at Thorncombe Park, Surrey and most
recently sold Sotheby's London, 9th July 1999, lot 9, whilst a further pair attributed to Ince and Mayhew and almost
certainly supplied to George William, 6th Earl of Coventry, another of Adam's patrons, for Croome Court,
Worcestershire was sold Christie's London, 4th July 2002, lot 82.
It is very possible that Adam turned to Ince and Mayhew for the commission of some of the furniture at Apsley House,
together with the specialist carver and gilder Sefferin Nelson who appears to have worked on many of Adam's major
commissions and alongside the celebrated cabinet-making partnership. Nelson was responsible for the execution of
the four Adam designed girandole mirrors at Derby House in 1776 at a cost of £109. 2s. 6d. and is recorded as having
been paid £259 by Lord Bathurst in 1779 indicating a substantial commission which would almost certainly have
included the companion mirrors and possibly the torchères themselves though unfortunately there are no itemised
In 1807, Apsley House was purchased by the Marquess of Wellesley (1760-1842) from 3rd Earl Bathurst and he
employed James Wyatt along with Thomas Cundy to carry out alterations and improvements to the house. By 1816
however, Wellesley had encountered financial difficulties though was fortunate enough to be able to sell Apsley House
to his brother, 1st Duke of Wellington in 1817, who had recently returned from Ambassadorial duties in France. The
Duke embarked on enlarging the house under the direction of Benjamin Dean Wyatt, the son of James Wyatt who
added the Dining Room to the North East corner where the Waterloo Banquets were subsequently staged. By the
early 1830s the Duke had spent in excess of £64,000 on improvements, much to his chagrin, and it is likely that this
pair and other Adam furniture was sold over this period.
Other torchères from the Apsley House suite are illustrated Eileen Harris, The Genuis of Robert Adam, London, 2001,
p.15, pl. 11, again in Eileen Harris' aforementioned Country Life article on No. 1 London, where they were credited to
Mallett and Son and a further pair are illustrated in The Grosvenor House Yearbook for 1998 on page 115 with H.
Blairman & Sons. This would suggest that there were at least six torchères in the original commission.

Fig. 1

Henry Bathurst, 2nd Earl Bathurst (1714-1794) © National Portrait

Gallery, London

Fig. 2

Robert Adam design for pier glass and pedestals for Apsley House
© Sir John Soane’s Museum

Fig. 3

Landscape room, Burton Hall, Lincolnshire

Fig. 4

Saxon service plate showing Apsley House as it originally looked

©English Heritage
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 42
DENON (1747-1825)
of pylon form with a rectangular ebony banded top above a concave frieze inlaid with a
band of silver stripes surmounted by a winged disc and two uraei, the sacred cobra symbol
of ancient Egyptian kings, the two longer wings with Biennais maker’s mark (B with a
monkey in a diamond surround), together with a standard mark for 1793, the two side
wings with the same maker's mark and the `petite garantie’ for 1809-19, above a panelled
door, the front and back panels inlaid with a scarab between uraei on lotus stalks, the eye
of one uraeus, when pressed flips open to reveal a keyhole, the door opening to reveal the
lockplate signed Biennais, Orfre de LL. M.M.. Imples et Royles à Paris, and forty-one
graduated drawers each mounted with a silver scarab-like insect probably a bee, the wing
of which lifts to open the drawer, each with a silver numbered plaque No 1-41, the back
decorated and mounted as the front, the base of the frieze and four corners applied with a
projecting curved border inlaid with silver horizontal and diagonal bands above a concave
apron on bracket feet
112cm. high, 62cm. wide at widest, 41.5cm. deep; 3ft. 8in, 2ft. ½in., 1ft. 4in.

ESTIMATE 300,000-500,000 GBP

Probably commissioned by Napoleon I (1769 –1821) or Baron Dominique Vivant Denon (1747-1825);
Probably acquired by Frederick John Monson, 5th Lord Monson (1809-1841), for Gatton Park, Surrey, in around 1830,
where it probably stood in the Library;
Thence by descent to Augustus John Debonnaire Monson, 9th Lord Monson (1868-1914), at Burton Hall,
Lincolnshire, see fig.1;
Thence by descent at Burton Hall, Lincolnshire, where it probably stood in the Library, see fig. 2 and after 1958 at
South Carlton, Lincolnshire.

Comparative Literature:
Michael Beurdeley, Georges Jacob (1739-1814) et son Temps, Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau, 2002, pp. 152-157;
Clare Eames, `The Emperor's Cabinet’, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin,1958-1959, pp. 108-112;
Serge Grandjean, Empire Furniture,1800-1825, London, 1966, ill. 13b;
Anthony Griffiths,` The End of Napoleon’s Histoire Métallique’, Medal, no. 18 (Spring 1991), pp. 35-39.
Danielle O. Kisluk-Grosheide, Wolfram Koeppe, William Rieder, European Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, Highlights of the Collection, New Haven and London, 2006, No. 92, pp. 218-221;
Jean-Marcel-Humbert, L'Egyptomanie dans l'art occidental, Paris, 1989, p.129;
Jean-Marcel-Humbert, Michael Pantazzi, Christiane Ziegler, Egyptomania L'Egypte dans l'art occidental 1730-1930,
Paris, Musée du Louvre, 20th January-18th April 1994, pp. 206-207;
Ulrich Leben, ed., Bernard Molitor, 1755-1833, Exhibition Catalogue at Villa Auban, Villa de Luxembourg, 7th October
-10th December 1995, p. 125;
Hector Lefuel, François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter, ébéniste de Napoléon I er et de Louis XVIII, Paris, 1925.
Preston Remington, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 22, no. 4 (Apr. 1927), pp. 122-126.
Henry Thorold, Lincolnshire Houses, Norwich, 1999, p. 38.
Richard A. Todd, Napoleon’s Medals Victory to the Arts, Stroud, 2009.

This magnificent and extremely rare medal cabinet represents the zenith of the`goût d’Egypte’ style in France in the
early years of the 19th century and is exceptional in terms of both its conception and execution. It is veneered in the
most beautifully figured amboyna wood mounted and inlaid with exceptional quality silver mounts and by the most
outstanding ébéniste Jacob-Desmalter and goldsmith Martin Guillaume Biennais of the Empire period.
The `goût d’Egypte’ style was promulgated by the architect Baron Dominique Vivant-Denon (1747- 1825), who had
accompanied Napoleon on his Egyptian campaign in around 1798-99. Following on from that in 1802, Denon
published his celebrated album,`Voyage dans la Basse et haute Egypte pendant les campagnes du Général
Bonaparte’, comprising sketches of battle scenes and architectural details which enjoyed great success all over
Europe of which there were several foreign editions; two published in London in 1802, two in Germany in 1803 and
one in Florence 1808. The Egyptian themes were borrowed and adapted by some of the leading French cabinet-
makers of the era and this cabinet epitomises the taste for adapting ancient Egyptian forms and utilising decorative
motifs inspired by ancient Egypt. The pylon (gateway) at the Apollonopolis Parva (now Ghoos) in Upper Egypt, which
was depicted by Denon in Plate 80, of his 1802 Album, was obviously the model for the upper section of this cabinet,
reproduced here in fig. 3.
The Monson cabinet reflects Jacob-Desmalter's exceptional ébénisterie, `characterised by superb quality, classical
severity and functional perfection...'. It is a superlative representation of his innovative furniture and virtuosity as an
ébéniste with the employment of the choicest veneers embellished with superb quality silver mounts by Napoleon’s
leading silversmith Martin Guillaume Biennais (1764-1843), and according to Grandjean, op. cit., p. 86, `Amboyna and
satinwood were not much in demand (during the Empire period) because their prices were high' which reinforces the
rarity of this cabinet. The silver marks are from between 1809-1819, next to Biennais’s mark for 1793-94, and even
though the cabinet is early 19th century it was usual for Biennais to use earlier marks and to reuse them on other
silver. Regarding the silver mark for 1793-1794, this was an unofficial mark. After the abolition of their guild at the time
of the Revolution, goldsmiths were no longer permitted to use the mark that for centuries had testified that their metal
was to the prescribed standard. As an act of self-protection, they introduced a new unofficial mark of quality of their
This cabinet was obviously inspired by the design by Charles Percier (1764-1838), dated to the first quarter of the
19th century, which is now in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Cabinet des Arts graphiques, Paris (CD 3240), illustrated
by Kisluk-Grosheide, op. cit., p. 220, fig. 126, reproduced here in fig. 4. It is interesting to note that the drawing clearly
shows a medal cabinet in a wood with a very tight swirling pattern-possibly amboyna, which reinforces the fact that the
offered cabinet very closely follows the original design by Percier.
The differences between this cabinet and the only other known example which is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
New York, reproduced here in fig. 5, (see post) are in both materials and form as follows: this cabinet is veneered in
amboyna whereas the Metropolitan’s is in mahogany and the design by Percier appears to incorporate burrwood
rather than mahogany as previously stated. The drawers of this cabinet are much shallower whereas the
Metropolitan’s has graduated but deeper drawers with silver mounts of a larger size in the form of scarabs or bees on
the drawer fronts. This cabinet opens on the front only and not both sides, and has 41 drawers, whereas the
Metropolitan cabinet has 22 drawers on each side making a total of 44 in total and the drawer construction differs.
There is a large brass plate behind the lockplate on the reverse of the door of the Monson cabinet which is not present
on the Metropolitan cabinet. This cabinet has the silver bands below the front frieze centred by an `x' which is not
present on the Metropolitan cabinet and the latter also has an unusual almost Ionic capital above the disc which is
missing on this cabinet which does not appear on the Percier design. Furthermore, this cabinet terminates in bracket
feet rather than a platform base and is much less flared in outline than the Metropolitan one. Finally, the internal
lockplate on the door of the Monson cabinet is signed `Biennais, Orfre de LL. M.M.. Imples et Royles à Paris’ , which
the Metropolitan's is not although on the latter above each keyhole Biennais’s name is engraved and there are also
slight variations of the engravings on the metalwork of both in particular the bees on the Metropolitan's cabinet.
The Monson cabinet in view of its decorative style and execution has very strong associations with both Napoleon and
Denon: as stated previously the use of the most expensive wood-amboyna-fit for an Emperor and the handles on the
internal drawers are in the form of scarab-like insects or bees a symbol of Napoleon. This kind of model of
scarabs/bees was used by Biennais when he was involved in mounting this type of medal cabinet, such as the ones
made in 1800 for Eugène de Beauharnais (Napoleon’s stepson) and Marie-Louise, his wife in 1812. Also according to
family tradition the key of the offered cabinet had N for Napoleon on it, was lost in around 1958, when the furniture
was moved from Burton Hall to South Carlton and was reputed to have been given by Napoleon to his Empress
Marie-Louise. It is worthwhile noting there are no initials on the Metropolitan cabinet key. What is also interesting is
that unlike the Metropolitan’s plain lockplate on the inside of the door, the one on this cabinet is rather obviously
engraved with Biennais’s name and advertises the fact that he is the Emperor’s goldsmith. Furthermore, although it
has not been possible to date to identify the offered cabinet in the accounts of Biennais, that is not to say that it was
not also made for Napoleon on Denon’s instructions.
Napoleon was passionate about medals and it is conceivable that several medal cabinets would have been
commissioned either directly by him or via Denon’s instructions to Jacob-Desmalter and Biennais. In the late 1790’s,
during his Egyptian campaign, Napoleon came upon a medal of the Roman general Julius Caesar and later on he
discovered coins of William the Conqueror and Napoleon imbued these with great significance. Napoleon
commissioned hundreds of medals during the course of his reign to mark significant achievements such as treaties
and to glorify his conquests. The medals were not only works of art but propaganda according to Todd, op. cit. One of
the most interesting groups were the series of Napoleonic medallions that relate to the acquisition of Italian works of
art by the French Armies. On 16th August 1803, Napoleon visited the Louvre where he saw the renowned Venus de
Medici and received from Vivant Denon, then Director General of Museums, a medal depicting the ancient
masterpiece. However, it was of the Egyptian campaign that Napoleon stated `the time I spent in Egypt (was)….the
most beautiful of my life’. His campaign included scholarly research taking a team of 167 scholars. He founded in
Cairo the Egyptian Institute which resulted in his Description de l’Egypte published in ten folio volumes on which those
scholars worked for twenty years. According to Todd, op. cit., `The real legacy of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign was
the birth of the discipline of Egyptology’. Three Egyptian medals were eventually produced commemorating-the
Conquest of Upper Egypt (1806) the Conquest of Egypt (1808) and the Conquest of Lower Egypt (1810).
Anthony Griffiths op. cit., states regarding the Metropolitan cabinet, `The most interesting record, however, is an
account submitted in February 1814 by ( the goldsmith) Biennais for 3600 francs, for what is described as the
`médailler du Roi'. In Biennais's account, Griffiths continues, this medal cabinet for the Emperor is described as being
`in the form of an Egyptian pedestal, containing 44 mahogany drawers with silver mounts and meant to serve as a
stand for the emperor's medal cabinet'. As the Metropolitan's cabinet has two sets of 22 drawers this is quite
compelling, although definitive evidence that the Metropolitan cabinet was made for Napoleon has not been found to
date. Although what is puzzling is that perhaps this entry refers to another cabinet as clearly the Metropolitan Museum
and Monson cabinet were intended to be stand alone medal cabinets in their own right and not merely pedestals to
serve as a stand for a medal cabinet.
The history of the very similar cabinet in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, (inv.26.168.77) is unclear, as to
whether Denon himself commissioned it or purchased it, however, what is known is that it was recorded in the sale
upon the death of Baron Dominique Vivant Denon (1747-1825) in 1826 and listed as `Un médaillier en acajou; forme
de naos monolithe égyptien. Ce médaillier est garni, de chaque côté, de 22 tiroirs masque par une porte recouvrante;
ses trois faces sont richement décores d’emblèmes égyptiens, incrustés en argent. Socle en marble veiné’. The
marble socle is obviously now missing. As stated in the catalogue entry for the Metropolitan's cabinet by Jacob-
Desmalter after a Percier design and with silver mounts by the firm of Biennais, which is dated 1809-19, the enmity
between Denon and Percier would seem to indicate that it was not a commission by Denon but a later purchase, and
that he was not the first owner of the cabinet. As Jean Marcel Humbert observed regarding the Metropolitan cabinet
which can be made in relation to the offered one op. cit., `The originality and variety of its decoration make this piece
an excellent illustration of the taste for things Egyptian at the beginning of the nineteenth century. At the same time it
is the very essence of Egyptomania; the adaptation of antique forms and decorations, in dimensions as well as
materials, to a type of object and function completely different from those associated with these symbols in Antiquity’.
Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon (1747-1825) more than any other figure during the Napoleonic era, was almost the
sole arbiter of the artistic taste of the Age and even influenced Emperor Napoleon in that regard. Denon began his
career in the household of Madame de Pompadour eventually filling diplomatic posts in St. Petersburg, Stockholm and
Naples. He was ambassador to Naples from 1779 to 1785 and was responsible for the design of the Legion of Honour
made by the firm of Biennais, which Napoleon bestowed upon those he favoured in his immediate circle. He
supervised everything made in the workshops of the court artists and craftsmen. In 1802, he became the Director-in
Chief of the Musée Napoléon and master of the Mint where he was also responsible for the striking of medals. He had
a passion for medals and upon his death his inventory listed three thousand contemporary medals alone.
In the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, there are five hand coloured designs for furniture including drawings that Percier
executed for Biennais, one depicts a rectangular bedside table, the other a medal-cabinet ordered by Vivant Denon.
The latter was an antiquarian and fascinated by the exotic art forms of Egypt. His drawings were both records of the
past and as patterns for future designer’s according to Clare Eames, p. 109, op. cit., `It was perhaps the most
influential factor in the popularity of Egyptian decoration…’
Jacob-Desmalter was asked to make for Denon for his own private use a set of mahogany furniture based on the
latter's drawings, including a bed in classical taste with three sides decorated in silver to be placed against a wall, a
pair of armchairs, a medal cabinet with twenty-two drawers which is probably the one now in the Metropolitan Museum
(see ante). The aforementioned furniture is listed in a catalogue drawn up the day after Denon's death by L.J. Dubois,
Description des objets d'art qui composent le cabinet de feu M .le Baron Vivant Denon, Paris, 1826, pages 189-190,
nos. 832, 833, and the names of Denon and Jacob-Desmalter were cited as the authors of these pieces. According to
Grandjean, op. cit., p. 34` must write the name of Denon high on the list of originators of the Egyptian mode, and
insist that his influence on the furniture of Napoleon’s era was of considerable importance’.
It is interesting to note that in John Bernard Burke's, `A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and
Gentlemen of Great Britain', London 1853, vol. II, p. 226. (published by Hurst and Blakett, Great Marlborough
Street), referring to his visit to Gatton Park, Surrey, purchased by the 5th Lord Monson in 1830, there is the following
“The library is entirely fitted up with ebony and ivory. The sofas, tables, and chairs, all of ebony, richly carved, came
from Amsterdam; the chimney-piece of Rosso Antreo, with its clocks and candelabra of bronze, was a gift from
Napoleon to Eugene Beauharnais on his marriage, and a small escritoire, with some curious contrivances
appertaining, belonged also to the Emperor, and was used by him in his campaigns.”
This would seem to confirm that already in 1853 and probably even earlier, perhaps upon the purchase of Gatton
Park, in 1830, or during Lord Monson's extensive travels in the 1820's and 1830's, gifts from Napoleon and an item
reputedly belonging to him, namely an escritoire that was used by Napoleon in his campaigns, were in the 5th Lord
Monson's collection. This also assists in dating the probable acquisition of the medal cabinet by the 5th Lord
Monson to around 1830 and further confirms the family's strong connections with Napoleonica.
Furthermore, the medal cabinet in the Metropolitan Museum (bequest of Collis P. Huntington in 1900) was possibly
acquired in the second half of the 19th century. However, no provenance for the Metropolitan cabinet is recorded prior
to that. The Huntington collection is well known and the Huntington Museum has an outstanding collection of French
18th century art formed by Henry Huntington (1850-1927), the nephew and business associate of Collis P. Huntington
(1821-1900), the railroad magnate.

In conclusion therefore, with regards to the Monson cabinet, in the absence of documentary evidence to date, this
extremely rare and sumptuous cabinet of exceptional quality was either a commission on behalf of Emperor Napoleon
either for his own use or for a member of the Imperial family or for Baron Denon for his own personal use to contain
some of his vast collection of medals. It is certainly conceivable that in view of Napoleon’s profound interest in medals
that this is the only other outstanding example of a medal cabinet in the `goût d’Egypte’ style, apart from the
Metropolitan example, which has resurfaced after nearly two hundred years.
Frederick John Monson, 5th Baron Monson (1809-1841) and Gatton Park, Surrey:
He is well recorded as a collector and travelled extensively in Europe in the 1820's and 1830's and purchased Gatton
Park in Surrey in 1830. Sir George Colebrooke (1729-1809), had acquired Gatton from his brother Sir James
Colebrooke (1722-1761), a prominent London banker and Member of Parliament for Gatton. In 1762, Sir George, who
was Member of Parliament for Arundel and chairman of the East India Company, embarked on a series of
improvements to the estate, commissioning Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to remodel the park. Brown spent nearly six
years working at Gatton, taking the unusual step of actually supervising the gardening in hand, and transformed
whatever formal gardens had existed before into sweeping Arcadian parkland.
Gatton passed through a number of hands in the following years and in 1830 was sold for £100,000 by Sir Mark
Wood, 2ndBt. (1794-1837) to Frederick John Monson, 5th Lord Monson. Monson redeveloped the house,
commissioning Thomas Hopper, who designed a magnificent marble hall based on the Corsini Chapel in Church of St.
John Lateran, in Rome, and Joseph Severn for frescoes of the Classical Virtues. Brown’s park remained largely intact
however, and the estate remained in the Monson family until 1888, and after his death his widow, Theodosia,
Dowager Lady Monson, lived on there. The property was eventually sold by the 7th Lord Monson in 1888 and the
contents moved to Burton Hall.When it was sold by the 5th Baron’s grandson, William Monson, 1st Viscount
Oxenbridge, to Sir Jeremiah Colman, a prominent Norwich based food manufacturer and financier whose fortune was
founded on the famous Colman’s Mustard.
Augustus John Debonnaire Monson, 9th Lord Monson (1868-1914):
He was attaché at the embassy in Paris from 1897-1900, when his uncle Sir Edmund Monson was the Ambassador.
Augustus was a great friend of Lord Rosebery who encouraged his interest in Napoleon memorabilia, the latter having
an entire room dedicated to Napoleonica at Mentmore and Lord Rosebery was the author the book, `Napoleon, The
Last Phase’in 1901. When Augustus married, which he did on 1st July 1903 at the British Embassy, he took as a wife
Romaine Stone, daughter of General Roy Stone, USA army and widow of Lawrence Turnure of New York. Their son
was born in 1907 and was christened John Rosebery Monson.
François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841):
He was the favourite cabinet-maker of Napoleon and belonged to a dynasty of leading cabinet-makers. Amongst
Jacob-Desmalter's first commissions, was the decoration and furnishing of the town house of Napoleon and his wife
Josephine in the rue Chantereine and the surviving furniture illustrates the patriotic and symbolic tastes which were so
characteristic of the Directoire period heralding the Empire style. His next major commission was for the Récamiers,
important and influential French bankers. At about the same time the firm was commissioned to decorate and furnish
Malmaison, by Percier and Fontaine, which was the country retreat of Josephine, where furniture in the` goût
d’Egypte’ style still remains today. The firm also provided furniture for Bonaparte's apartments at the Tuileries and
also exhibited at the second and third public exhibitions at the `Products of French Industry' held in 1801 and 1802 in
the courtyard of the Louvre and Jacob-Desmalter received a Gold Medal at the 1802 exhibition. It was during the
Empire period that his reputation was established and his talent fully recognised, as it is recorded that in 1807, the
firm employed 350 workmen. His work according to Grandjean, op. cit., `is esteemed not only on account of its stylistic
homogeneity but because of its consistent high quality'.
Charles Percier (1764-1838):
Charles Percier and his partner Pierre-François–Léonard Fontaine (1762-1853), the most celebrated architects and
decorators during the Empire period, were largely responsible for creating the Empire style and are synonymous with
creating the furniture and decoration heavy with symbolism for Napoleon. They had been in Rome from 1785 to 1790,
where they had followed David's teaching, and they were fully familiar with Ancient Greek and Roman art, which was
a major inspiration for their decoration and furnishing. Percier and Fontaine, published their Receuil des decorations
intérieurs, (1801, reissued in 1812) and they used motifs such as giant N’s in laurel wreaths, eagles and bees to make
the style fully Napoleonic. Both were fully employed by Napoleon as both architects and interior decorators on various
palaces such as Malmaison, Tuileries, Louvre, St. Cloud and Versailles. They transformed Napoleon's palaces into
lavish showcases for the produce of French art and industry. Percier was also a partner of Jacob-Desmalter and they
worked very closely together.
Martin Guillaume Biennais (1764-1853):
He was born in Lacochèe near Argentan on 29th Aril 1764. The Duc de Luynes in his Rapport sur l’industrie des
métaux précieux à l’Exposition of 1851 stated` Bonaparte having become Emperor, ordered from him large amounts
of furniture, tabletterie, and nécessaires, not only for himself but for all of his relatives…’Jérôme Bonaparte purchased
from him in 1800 a nécessaire de voyage when he was based at the Singe violet 238 rue Saint-Honoré. The imperial
insignia used by Napoleon were made by Biennais and at the Exposition Industrielle of 1806, Biennais won a Gold
Medal for the objects he exhibited. In 1806, he was appointed goldsmith to the Emperor. After Biennais’s death in
1843, it was written` When Bonaparte came back from Egypt he didn’t have any other fortune except glory and traders
did not want to sell to him on credit. Biennais was the only one to accept this and he became Napoleon’s official
goldsmith when he became Emperor.’
Napoleon’s appreciation for the credit given, was demonstrated when he returned to Paris in an increasing number of
commissions for Biennais making silver, furniture and jewellery as well as chessboards and travelling cases, much of
it ordered by Napoleon for his own use or for gift. At the same period Denon was becoming Napoleon’s cultural
mentor advising him in all matters of taste. Biennais’s trade card read `Orfévre de S.M.l’Empereur et Roi' and another
trade card lists the objects he made and interestingly it includes `ébénisterie’ (cabinet-work).

Fig. 1

Burton Hall, Lincolnshire

Fig. 2

Library, Burton, Hall, Lincolnshire

Fig. 3

Denon’s design of Temple at Goos, ©The Metropolitan Museum of


Fig. 4

Design attributed to Charles Percier (1764-1838) © Les Arts

Décoratifs, Paris

Fig. 5

Coin Cabinet, Designed By Charles Percier (1764-1838), By

François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841) © The
Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Fig. 6

Gerome’s “Napoleon At The Spinx”, Photographed By Victoria

Garagliona/ © Hearst Castle / © Ca State Parks
Fig. 7

Jacques-Louis David French, 1738-1825 The Emperor Napoleon In

His Study At The Tuileries, 1872, Oil On Canvas Samuel H. Kress
Collection © National Gallery Of Art, Washington

Fig. 8

Baron Dominique-Vivant Denon (1747-1825) © RMN-Grand Palais

(Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 43
SAUVAGE (1744-1818),
each with a female figure in a Nemes (Egyptian headdress) supporting a stylised basket
issuing flowers and arabesques linked by chains, the five candlebranches surmounted by
open-winged eagles centred by a raised candle-nozzle on a triform base mounted with
hard-paste porcelain decorated with a gold cameo after the Antique, one depicting a neo-
classical maiden with instruments including a horn, harp and a wreathed trumpet, another
with a bacchic neo-classical maiden with a ewer in one hand and cup in another flanked by
a bunch of grapes and a thyrsus, another with a male figure in profile in drapery with a
ewer in one hand and drinking vessel in another with a thyrsus, another with a neo-
classical maiden in drapery holding a thyrsus flanked by a pair of crossed trumpets, each
corner with a ram’s heads, on leaf cast paw feet
each 97cm. high, 33cm. wide; 3ft. 2¼in., 1ft. 1in.
ESTIMATE 200,000-300,000 GBP

Acquired by Adrien Godard d’Aucour de Plancy (1778-1871), husband of Sophie-Dorothée Lebrun (1787-1851),
daughter of Charles-François Lebrun (1739-1824), see fig. 1, Third Consul under the Consulat, duc de Plaisance and
Prince Arch-Treasurer under the Empire, at château de Plancy, Aube France, photographed in situ on the
mantelpiece in the salon de compagnie reproduced here in fig. 2.

Comparative Literature:
Marie-France Dupuy-Baylet, L’heure le feu la lumière, les bronzes du mobilier national 1800-1870, Dijon, 2010, p.
145, no. 75.
El Palacio Real de Madrid, Monografias de Sitios Reales, Madrid, 1975, p. 109 and 111.
Philippe Seydoux, Châteaux et manoirs de Champagne, Paris, 1993.
G. de Plancy, Le marquisat de Plancy, Paris, 2005.
Pierre Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés Français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1987, p. 47, fig. 41.
This outstanding pair of candelabra nearly one metre in height are a very fine early example of the `goût d’Egypte’
style popularised by Baron Dominique Vivant Denon (1747-1825), which took its inspiration from Egyptian monuments
and symbolism. They are exceptional both in terms of their design and execution with superbly cast and chased gilt-
bronze and bronze mounts and expertly painted porcelain bases. The early dating of this pair of candelabra to the
Louis XVI period, around 1790, which would at first sight appear to be Empire and early 19th century, is consistent
with an identical pair, circa 1790, which are recorded in the Spanish Royal Collection, now in the Throne Room in the
Royal Palace in Madrid, illustrated El Palacio Real de Madrid, Monografias de Sitios Reales, op. cit., p. 109 and 111,
reproduced here in fig. 3. The most distinctive elements on the offered pair of candelabra are the neo-Pompeiian
porcelain plaques on the base decorated in imitation of antique cameos which are by Piat-Joseph Sauvage (1744-
1818). Furthermore, there is a pair of candelabra in the Spanish Royal Collection signed and dated by Thomire in
1790 and 1791, however, these are only similar in terms of the triform base with ram's masks at the angles and a
grisaille by Sauvage, reproduced here in fig. 4.
It is also worthwhile comparing the gilt-bronze ornamentation of the palmettes on the base of these candelabra to that
on a Japanese lacquer commode and secrétaire à abattant attributed to Adam Weisweiler and Pierre-Philippe
Thomire, possibly under the direction of Martin-Eloi Lignereux dated to the late 18th century, which were sold lot 749,
from the Collections of Lily and Edmond Safra, Vol. IV, Sotheby’s, New York, 19th October 2011, which reinforces the
early date of the offered pair of candelabra.
Other `Antique' scenes painted on porcelain by Sauvage depicted in a similar vein to those on this pair of candelabra
-an antique scene on a pair of vases manufactured by Lefebre, Paris circa 1810, (Private Collection)
-a pair of vases decorated by Sauvage with the `Triumph of Augustus and Alexandre', in Paris porcelain, circa 1810,
(Private Collection).
-a secrétaire attributed to Weisweiler decorated with porcelain plaques by Dihl and Guérhard with a central medallion
depicting en camieau `The Triumph of Ceres’ by Sauvage acquired in Paris between 1805 and 1807 by Queen Marie-
Louise of Spain, in the Palacio de Oriente, Madrid, reproduced here in fig. 5.
Charles-François Lebrun (1739-1824):
He was the 4th son of Paul Lebrun, a minor landowner and Louise le Cronier. Charles studied at the College of
Coutances, then the College of Grassin, part of the old University of Paris. After discovering the writings of
Montesquieu, he fervently wanted to study the British constitution and embarked on a long sojourn most notably in
Belgium, Holland and finally arriving in England in 1762. He attended sessions of the British Parliament, which he
admired and wanted to adopt this system to his native France. On returning to France, he undertook his law studies
under Professor Lorry who introduced him to the first President of the Paris Parliament, René Nicolas de Maupeou
(1714-1792), who engaged him as a private tutor for his son. Maupeou was appointed chancellor in 1768, which gave
Lebrun the opportunity to shine and it was was always said “What would be Maupeou without Lebrun?” Thanks to the
minister’s goodwill, Lebrun was appointed official censor for the King in 1765, a position that rewarded him well and
three years later, he became Inspector General of the Domains of the Crown. Lebrun married Anne Delagoutte and
had a son called Anne Charles Lebrun (1775-1859). He held many political positions from 1789 -1795.
Napoleon appointed him Arch-Treasurer of the French Empire in 1804 and gave him the Great Eagle (the highest
rank) of the Legion of Honour on February 2nd 1805 and Lebrun also received the title of Duc of Plaisance in 1806. In
1807, Lebrun participated in the creation of the Cour des Comptes (general auditing office). After the Empire, Louis
XVIII made him a Peer of France but during the subsequent Hundred Days he accepted from Napoleon the post of
grand maître de l'Université. As a consequence, he was suspended from the peerage when the Bourbons returned
again in 1815. He then retreated to his residence in Sainte-Mesme and died at the age of 85 and was buried at the
Père Lachaise Cemetery.
The Godard d’Aucour de Plancy family:
The family maintained a high profile during the Consulat and the First Empire which is the reason why the château de
Plancy is endowed with many works of art from this period and personal souvenirs of Jerome Bonaparte and Charles-
Francois Lebrun (1739-1824), who was one of the three Consuls with Napoleon Bonaparte and Cambaceres (1753-
1824) after Napoleon’s coup d’état. On 4th June 1764, Claude Godard d’Aucour (1716-1795) bought from François-
Jean-Baptiste Moreau’s widow the seineury of Plancy. Unlike his ancestors, who preferred to live in the Saint-Just
castle, Claude Godard d’Aucour and his wife settled in Plancy. They demolished the old medieval castle and built a
large, elegant and bright manor on the former’s foundations. It remained unfinished due to the French Revolution.
Adrien Godard d’Aucour de Plancy (1778-1871):
He was born in 1778 and his grandfather, Claude Godard (1716-1795), was a food supplier to the French troops and
also a literary man. In 1742, he wrote “Themidore and Turkish memoirs” and other books earning a large fortune and
married Claire Poisson, a distant cousin of Madame de Pompadour. When his grandfather died, Adrien inherited the
entire family fortune, including a private hôtel in rue Vivienne in Paris, a castle in Ivry-sur-Seine, the Plancy land in
Arcy-sur-Aube and plenty of other domains and farms in the Champagne region.
He studied at the military school of Rebais (Seine-et-Marne département). In 1802, when Adrien was 24 years old, he
married Sophie-Dorothée Lebrun (1787-1851), Charles-François Lebrun’s daughter. Adrien wanted to join the civil
service and was appointed sub-prefect in Soissons in September 1804. On 14th May 1805, he was appointed prefect
of the Doire département and prefect of the Nièvre département on May 30th 1808. On 28th May 1809, he was also
appointed Comte of the Empire and on 4th December 1810, he became prefect of the Seine-et-Marne département
and Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in 1811. He wrote his memoirs in 1845 and died in his castle on 5th
September 1871. His memoirs, Les Souvenirs du Comte Adrien de Plancy, were published in 1904 thanks to his
grandson, the Baron Georges de Plancy, former Consul in Seoul, and Frédéric Masson, a member of the Académie
Française, who wrote the preface.
Piat-Joseph Sauvage (1744-1818):
This talented painter was born in Tournai on 19th January 1744 and became a pupil of A.F. Gilles and R. Malaine,
and then went to Antwerp to perfect his painting technique where he had M. Gaeraerts and G. van Spaendonck as
masters. He chiefly painted `grisailles’ either portraits in profile or genre subjects, usually mythological in miniature
imitating cameos and also in oils. He also painted on porcelain and enamel and was ` the master of the miniature in
`grisaille’. ‘ His miniatures were often used to decorate the sides of beautiful `boîtes à cages’. Most of the French
collections and many foreign ones as well as numerous museums contain works by Sauvage. He became painter to
the Netherlandish court in 1774 and in the same year he moved to Paris, where he became a member of the
Académie Royale (1783) and court painter to the Prince du Condé and to Louis XVI where he remained until 1808. He
became a member of the Academy of Lille and Toulouse in 1776 and about at the same time the Academy of St. Luc.
He also took part in the Salon de la Correspondence in 1783. He returned frequently to Flanders, where he was
engaged in buying pictures for the Comte D' Angiviller in 1785-86. He joined the side of the Revolutionaries in around
1789, was allowed a studio in the Louvre and in 1795, commanded a battalion of the Parisian National Guard. In 1808
he returned to Tournai, where he became a teacher at the Academy. His decorations still exist at the Châteaux of
Compiègne (1785), Rambouillet (1786-87) and Fontainebleau (1786). Several of his portraits, including that of William
Beckford, were engraved.
Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843):
He was the most celebrated bronzier in addition to Pierre Gouthière during the reign of Louis XVI. Thomire was the
son of a ciseleur but also received training under the sculptors A. Pajou (1730-1809) and J.-A. Houdon (1741-1828)
and he cast bronze portrait busts for both. Thomire was a pupil at the Académie de Saint-Luc. He was already
working for the Royal family by 1775 and collaborated with Jean-Louis Prieur ciseleur et doreur du Roi, on the bronze
mounts for the coronation coach of Louis XVI. He set up his own atelier the following year and in 1783, Thomire was
appointed as the modeller to the Manufacture de Sèvres, succeeding Jean-Claude Duplessis. He cast and chased
bronzes the following year, which were designed by the sculptor, L.-S Boizot, for a monumental vase in dark blue
porcelain intended for the Musée Centrale des Arts, which is now in the Louvre.
During the Napoleonic period he was still working for Sèvres. In the accounts of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne,
his name appears frequently from 1784 as a maker of furniture mounts. He also collaborated in particular with
Beneman on some pieces made for the Crown aswell as Boulard and others, on a large screen made for Louis XVI’s
bedchamber at Compiègne in 1786 (now in the Louvre). He was also well known for bronzes d’ameublement such as
the two sets of chenets for Marie-Antoinette’s apartments at Versailles in 1786 (now in the Louvre cat. nos. 369 and
370) and the set of wall lights for Compiègne in 1787 (four are now in the Wallace Collection, London, Cat. Nos. 366-
369 and two at Waddesdon Manor).
Additionally he made chimney mounts for Thierry de Ville d’Avray, the contrôleur-général des Meubles de la Couronne
. He also undertook other commissions for example, he executed for the City of Paris in 1785, a set of monumental
candelabra for presentation to General Lafayette to celebrate the Declaration of Independence. His other patrons
included the Comte d’Artois, for furnishings for the château de Bagatelle.
During the Revolution, his atelier was used for the production of arms, but in 1804 he reverted to his former profession
when he acquired the premises and business of the marchand-mercier Martin Éloi-Lignereux, the former partner and
successor to Dominique Daguerre. His business flourished during the Empire period, and was renamed Thomire,
Dutherme et Cie and in 1807, he is recorded as employing at least seven hundred workers and he enjoyed prestigious
commissions from both the City of Paris and the Emperor including an important toilet service for presentation to
Empress Marie-Louise on the occasion of her marriage and also the celebrated cradle for the Kind of Rome. He
retired from business in 1823, and was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1834 and died in his 92nd year.
His style is more purely neo-classical than Gouthière’s and he utilised motifs such as Victories, sphinxes and neo-
classical incense burners quite early in his career. When he made mounts for the monumental Sèvres vase in 1783,
he was already using the anthemion motif. During the Louis XVI period, he appears to have sometimes cast the works
himself but at other times used fondeurs such as Forestier who also worked after models he provided. He is also
recorded as gilding his own bronzes and sometimes employing others to do so, such as the fondeur-ciseleur
Chaudron. His work pre-revolution is to be found in all the major collections including the Louvre, Versailles,
Fontainebleau, Compiègne, the Pitti Palace, Florence and Wallace Collection, London and Waddesdon Manor,
Fig. 1

Charles François Lebrun (1739-1824) By Robert Lefèvre (1755-


Fig. 2

Candelabra in the Throne Room, Royal Palace, Madrid

Fig. 3

Candelabra in situ, Salon de Compagnie, Château De Plancy

Fig. 4

One of a pair of candelabra, in the Spanish Royal Collection, Madrid

Fig. 5

Secrétaire by Weisweiler, in the Palacio De Oriente, Madrid

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 44

Blue John, on a white alabaster and black marble base, with an antique velvet base
lion and alabaster base: 16 by 28.5 by 12cm., 6¼ by 11¼ by 4¾in.antique base: 5.5 by 29.7
by 13.5cm., 2 1/8 by 11 3/4 by 5 1/4in.

ESTIMATE 60,000-80,000 GBP

George Greville. 2nd Earl of Warwick (1746-1816);
Janine Angela Greville, Countess of Warwick, Rome

As the only known sculpture in Blue John, this Recumbent Lion is extraordinary for its quality, provenance and rarity. It
would appear to have been commissioned by George Greville, second Earl of Warwick, who mentions it in his
inventory of 1806 as ‘a Lyon of Derbyshire Spar on a pedestal’. It is recorded again in a 1924 inventory of ‘articles of
national or historical interest’ where it is described as a ‘Lion in Blue John on white and black marble base’ situated in
The Great Hall of Warwick Castle. The Warwick Castle Collection also included the famous Warwick Vase, which had
been discovered during an excavation of Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli. The Warwick Vase was acquired by George
Greville’s uncle, Sir William Hamilton, whose wife Emma was the mistress of Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Blue John is a rare natural variety of calcium fluorite. It was first recorded in the Castleton area of Derbyshire,
England, in the late seventeenth century, which today remains the only discovered quarry of the stone. Long before
the appreciation of Blue John as a valuable material for architectural ornaments and decorative objects in the 18th
century, the ancient Romans prized its shimmering qualities. Pliny the Elder described a soft rock with a range of
colours, naming it ‘murrhine’. A legendary tale from this time records how Petronius, author of the Satyricon, on
recognising that death was inevitable severed his own veins, but only after breaking his prized murrhine dipper in
order that his nemesis Nero could not enjoy it after him. Emperor Augustus, too, is recorded to have treasured
murrhine above all else, selecting to keep only one murrhine vase above all of his golden vessels (Suetonius 2.71).
Just two significant objects in Roman Blue John survive as testament to ancient appreciation of the stone: both
drinking vessels and both on show in the Roman Empire room at the British Museum (inv. nos. GR 1971.4-19.1 and
GR 2003.12-2.1).

Blue John is extremely difficult to carve and cannot be chiselled due to its brittle nature. The present sculpture with its
sensitive detail defining the lion’s form would have taken weeks, possibly even months, to complete by a laborious
process of hand-grinding using bits of abrasive stone. A particularly remarkable addition to this process is the
apparent inclusion of ancient fragments in the present lion. Dr Ian Jenkins, Senior Curator of the British Museum,
Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, after close inspection of the darker elements of the lion’s paws,
concluded that this was indeed possible. Precedence for this can be found in Franzoni’s animal sculptures, in the Sala
degli Animali in the Museo Pio Clementino in the Vatican, many of which also incorporate ancient fragments
(González-Palacios, op. cit. p. 249).

The lion has long been used in religious and stately iconography as a symbol of nobility and strength; Sotheby’s
London has a representation of Sekhmet, a lioness deity, adorning its front entrance. It is in the visual vocabulary of
Ancient Egypt where the crouching lion is particularly preeminent. The grand Egyptian lions at the foot of the
Capitoline Hill in Rome, made of basalt and over two thousand years old, bear striking similarity to the present work in
their recumbent pose and unyielding forward gaze.

Eminent patron, collector, designer and writer, Thomas Hope, revived ancient iconography in his designs which would
become the seminal aesthetics of Regency England. During his Grand Tour of Europe, from 1787 to 1795, Thomas
Hope was exposed to the exotic colours and objects of Italy, Egypt and the Near East. When he acquired a palatial
house in London, he modelled the decor on the traditional forms that he had seen abroad, and revolutionised interior
design forever; ‘interior decoration’ was in fact as a phrase introduced to the English language by Thomas Hope in his
book Household Furniture and Interior Decoration. Two particular settees, designed by Hope, are adorned on their
four edges by recumbent lions. One settee is now held in the Farringdon Collection and the other can be found at the
Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. These settees were placed in Thomas Hope’s Egyptian room, where he kept his
Egyptian works and those with Egyptian motifs. Hope’s lions all share with the present Recumbent Lion the same lithe
bodies and twisting tails, geometric manes and imposing ears. Noteworthy is the suggestion that the castings for the
Farringdon Collection settee were executed by Giuseppe Boschi, whose study of the ancient Egyptian basalt lions on
the Capitoline Hill is today in the Victoria and Albert Museum (op. cit. pp. 392).

The present sculpture is an especially fine example of the tastes of Regency England, in tune with the enlightened
originality of Thomas Hope, who innovated by virtue of the antique and the Oriental. Its distinctively British quality is in
its material, the rare and brilliant Blue John. This Recumbent Lion is cut from a block of the Old Tor vein of Blue John,
carefully selected for its intrinsic rich colouration which simulates the lion’s textured fur and mane. The sculpture’s
history in the distinguished Warwick Castle Collection, reflects the enduring regard for the most accomplished of
Regency style works of fine art. It would make an extraordinary addition to both public and private collections on
account of its uniqueness and quality: it is a remarkable sculpture to be offered to the art market.

D. Watkin and P. Hewat-Jaboor (eds.), Thomas Hope. Regency Designer, exh. cat. The Bard Graduate Center for
Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, Annandale-on-Hudson, and Victoria and Albert Museum, London,
2008, pp. 392-7, no. 76; A. González-Palacios, Il serraglio di pietra. La sala degli animali in Vaticano, Rome, 2013, p.
249, no. 105; T.D. Ford, Derbyshire Blue John, Ashbourne, 2005

Fig. 1

Inventory of George Greville, Second Earl Of Warwick, 1806, “A

Lyon of Derbyshire Spar on a Pedestal”.

Fig. 2

The present Recumbent Lion on a table in the Great Hall at

Warwick Castle

Fig. 3

The Coat of Arms of the 2nd Earl of Warwick

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 45
the plump, realistic body comprising eleven sized segments edged with seed pearls,
enamelled in translucent yellow on a textured gold ground and scattered with tiny black or
scarlet dots, studded with a triple row of rose diamonds within translucent green and black
enamel rings, the head further set with small ruby eyes, the undercarriage with incised
bands and stripes picked out in black champlevé enamel and supported on gold peg legs,
and when animated by means of an almost invisible lever, the worm undulates sinuously
length 7.3 cm, 2 7/8 in, with key

ESTIMATE 150,000-200,000 GBP

Léon Montandon & Alfred Chapuis, 'Les Maillardet', Musée Neuchatelois, 1917-18;
Charles Perregaux & François-Louis Perrot, Les Jaquet-Droz et Leschot, Neuchatel, 1916;
Alfred Chapuis & Edouard Gélis, Le Monde des Automates. Paris, 1928;
Alfred Chapuis & Eugène Jaquet, The History of the Self-Winding Watch, London, 1956;
Richard D. Altick, The Shows of London, Cambridge, 1978;
Sharon & Christian Bailly, Oiseaux de Bonheur, Geneva, 2001;
we should also like to thank Philip Maillardet, descendant of Henri, for generously sharing information garnered while
researching the family history

‘An extraordinary and minute copy of animated nature’ or so the auctioneer described the silkworm, or ‘Ethiopian
caterpillar’, which was sold on the third day of the dispersal, following the death of its proprietor, of Thomas Weeks’s
Mechanical Museum in Tichborne Street, London, on 16 July 1834, to a Mr Strachan for the princely sum of £5.15/6.
Thus as Europe moved into the Railway Age, the era of marvelling at mechanical wonders drew to a close.
Weeks’s Museum had contained among other pieces, lavish clocks and automata originally created by James Cox for
export to China and first exhibited in London in 1772. The following year Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz had brought his
three large androids, a writer, a draughtsman and a harpsichord player, from Switzerland for display in London on
their travels through Europe. It was evident that at that time London was the main conduit to the lucrative Far Eastern
market and it did not take long for the Jaquet-Droz and their associate Leschot to establish themselves there, taking
on Henri Maillardet (1745-circa 1829) as resident associate in 1783. The surviving contract, to last 7 years, makes it
quite clear that Maillardet and his employees were both making objects (‘fabriquer tels Ouvrages en Mechanique’) as
well as putting together (établir) parts which would be sent by Jaquet-Droz from Switzerland. Stock inventories of the
London branch in 1785-1787 list singing birds in cages, temples with waterfalls and turning columns, mechanisms for
a Writer and Draughtsman but nothing of small size. Following deaths and financial disaster, the association ended at
term although Leschot continued to use Maillardet, with increasing ill will between the two, as a London agent, for the
temples and singing bird boxes Leschot was exporting from Geneva to the Duvals in London for trade with the Far
It appears that Maillardet had made himself or acquired a number of the larger automata, including a ‘Mechanical
Musical Lady’ which he first exhibited at Cox’s former museum premises in Spring Gardens in June 1798. The first
mention of one of the group of small animals appears to have been when he showed ‘a Siberian mouse’ among his
‘wonderful Automatons’ at the same venue two years later in June 1800. ‘An Ethiopian chenille d’or’, in company with
the mouse and a mechanical tarantula, does not appear until an advertisement of 1811 when Maillardet was touring
England and exhibiting his automata in partnership with a certain Philippstal (pseudonym of Paul Philidor), a pioneer
of the magic lantern and phantasmagoria shows. The worm can clearly be seen in the illustrated print of the Gothic
Hall exhibition of 1826 so was then still with the automatonshow of which at least a part share still belonged to
Maillardet. The whole of the exhibition, comprising some 20 large and small automata, was put up for sale in London
in 1829 and it is possible that it was at this time that certain items were acquired by Thomas Weeks.
Although Henri Maillardet and his showman partners exhibited the small animals, and members of his family also
exhibited similar automata throughout Europe in the first part of the 19th century, it is still not certain who exactly was
responsible for their inception and construction. From the few surviving examples, one can see that these are
precious jewels quite unlike the larger automata the Maillardets exhibited. The materials chosen: gold, enamels,
pearls and gemstones, are rich and the workmanship is exquisite. In style the decoration of the exteriors would lead
one to believe that at least the cases originated in Geneva. It is possible that if Maillardet created the mechanisms as
is traditionally believed, he may have ordered the cases from Geneva, although certainly not from Frédéric Leschot.
It is a measure of the wonder inspired by these extraordinary and sumptuous pieces that any survive at all given their
small size and fragility. In fact only a small number of mice and caterpillars still exist together with a frog, a lizard and a
serpent but apparently no spiders. Of the recorded surviving caterpillars, numbering some six or seven, all apart from
the present example seem to have been enamelled in scarlet. The present example with its naturalistic colouring and
spotting is the closest to a live silkworm and was very probably intended not for show in Europe but to amuse the
Imperial Court of China.

Fig. 1

The Automaton Exhibition, Gothic Hall, Haymarket, 1826 © City of

London, London Metropolitan Archives.

Fig. 2


Fig. 3
Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 46
CIRCA 1811-13
now inset with a later Egyptian porphyry top within a gilt-bronze border inset with medals
depicting neo-classical figures including Mercury, Minerva, and various gods and
goddesses flanked by a flaming baluster vase and putti amongst scrolling foliage on a
tripod stand, the frieze applied with bucrania suspending ribbon-tied berried laurel swags
above a border of bellflowers on a stippled ground above three seated female sphinxes
issuing stylised foliage and scrolls on lion monopodia cast with the mask of Hercules,
scrolling foliage and anthemions joined by stretchers on a concave-sided triform base, on
brass castors
81cm. high, 37cm. diameter; 2ft. 7¾in., 1ft. 2½in.

ESTIMATE 100,000-150,000 GBP

Possibly ordered and given as a gift by Eugène de Beauharnais (1781-1824), Viceroy of Italy to a member of the
Imperial family, see fig. 1.
European Private Collector

Comparative Literature:
B. Gallizia di Vergano, la manifattura dell’Eugenia dei fratelli Manfredini, in the ‘Splendori del Bronzo. Mobili e oggetti
d’arredo tra Francia e Italia 1750/1850’. Catalogo della mostra, a cura di G.Beretti, Turin, 2002.
"Discorsi letti nella Grande Aula del Regio Cesareo Palazzo delle Scienze e delle Arti in Milano in occasione della
solenne distribuzione de'premi della Cesarea Regia Accademia delle Belle Arti fattasi da S.E. il signor Conte di
Saurau, Governatore di Milano il giorno onomastico di S.M. l'Imperatrice e Regina 25 agosto 1815", Milano 1815,
dalla Cesarea Regia Stamperia di Governo, p. 68., where a tripod of this type is mentioned.
E. Colle, A. Griseri, R. Valeriani, Bronzi Decorativi in Italia, Milan, 2001, pp. 290-291.
M.A. Flit et al., Pavlovsk, The Palace and the Park, Paris, 1993, p. 131.
Leon de Groër, Decorative Arts in Europe 1790 à 1850, Fribourg,1985, p. 14.
Alvar González-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto Roma e il Regno delle due Sicilie, Vol. II, Milan, 1986, p. 276 and 277,
for a related tripod table by Luigi Righetti, circa 1815, in the Reggia di Capodimonte, Naples.
Ed. A. Koutchoumov, Pavlovsk, Le Palais et le Parc, St. Petersburg, Leningrad,1976, pp. 78-79.
Hans Ottomeyer/Peter Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronze, Vol. I, Munich, 1986, p. 402.
This supremely elegant athenienne with its exquisitely cast and chased gilt-bronze decoration is an exciting new
discovery in the oeuvre of Luigi and Francesco Manfredini. The form of this piece is based upon the celebrated
Roman Antique tripod excavated at Pompeii, now in the Museo Nazionale, Naples, illustrated by de Groer, op. cit., p.
14, fig.1, reproduced here in fig. 2.
There are several related examples of these atheniennes all made by Luigi and Francesco Manfredini in the early
years of the 19th century, in various combinations of bronze and gilt-bronze and lapis lazuli with variations in the top
and base, some with basins and others with flat marble or hardstone tops. They all have links in some way with the
birth of Napoleon’s son, the King of Rome. There is also a theory that all these related atheniennes were gifts from the
Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s stepson, to close members of his family.
Manfredini’s masterpiece is the magnificent gilt-bronze and lapis lazuli tripod and basin made in 1811, believed to
have been a gift from either Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy or from the City of Milan to the Emperor
Napoleon on the birth of his son. The gilt-bronze and lapis lazuli tripod of 1811 is the most accurate reproduction with
adaptations of the antique tripod which was excavated in Herculaneum on 18th July 1748, described by Winckelmann
as ‘among the most beautiful things that have been discovered’. The athenienne by the Manfredini's gifted to
Napoleon, is now in the Schatzkammmer at the Hofburg in Vienna, illustrated by E. Colle, et. al, op. cit. p. 290-291,
no. 87, reproduced here in fig. 3. The Vienna athenienne has a lapis lazuli frieze and base with gilt-bronze decoration
and legs, the outer border of the top has medallions as upon the offered example. The Vienna example is inscribed `
Inventato ed eseguito dai frli Manfredini nella ra manifra della fontana nell’anno 1811’.
A second example, almost a pair to the Vienna athenienne, the full provenance of which still remains to be
established, is tentatively believed to have been ordered by Eugène de Beauharnais, in 1813, as a present to a
member of the Imperial family, had been on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum London, (subsequently sold
Christie’s London, The Exceptional sale 7th July 2011, lot 7, for £612,450.). The central bowl was decorated with `
The Triumph of Galatea’ and the border depicts gods and goddesses. It was signed and dated to the underside `
Inventato e Eseguito dai Fratelli Manfredini Alla Regia Manifat della Fontana Milano Anno 1813’. This example and
the Vienna one are the only two atheniennes bearing the dated inscriptions of the Manfredini brothers. The Victoria
and Albert athenienne is stated to have possibly been intended as a present to the Empress Marie-Louise.
A third example was formerly in the collection of Prince Essling, then in the collection of Marshall Massina, now in the
Musée Massena, Nice, illustrated by Groer, op. cit., p. 14, fig. 2, reproduced here in fig. 4. It differs with the present
example in that it has a domed cover and the lower section is in bronze. This Massena example is not signed but it
also thought to be by the Manfredini workshop.
It is worthwhile considering a fourth athenienne (excluding the offered one), in the State Bedchamber at Pavlovsk
Palace, St. Petersburg, with a lapis lazuli frieze and base, surmounted by a marble top which lends support to the
theory that the offered example was never originally conceived with a basin but always a flat top. The Pavlovsk
example is illustrated by Koutchoumov op. cit., pp. 78-79 in the State Bedchamber and reproduced here in fig. 5
. Prince Eugène's de Beauharnais's son, Maximillian, Duke of Leuchtenberg, was invited by Czar Nicholas I to settle
with his unmarried sisters in St. Petersburg and was given a place to live, re-named the Leuchtenberg Palace and he
married Czar Nicholas's daughter Maria Nicholaevna, which may explain how the aforementioned athenienne came to
be in Pavlovsk.
Furthermore, another athenienne was recorded in the inventory of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, the father-in-
law of Eugène de Beauharnais and stated to be a present to King Maximilian by Eugène which lends support to the
theory that all these related atheniennes were gifts from the Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais to close members of his
family. The nephew of the Manfredini brothers implied that by 1880-four such atheniennes were known to be in the
collections of the King of Bavaria including two with a verde antico marble top instead of blue lapis lazuli which is more
costly again reinforcing the notion that the offered piece was originally conceived with a flat top. The athenienne at
Pavlovsk may be one of those previously recorded in the King of Bavaria’s collections.
A further athenienne in gilt-bronze and verde antico marble which sold from the collection of Léonce Rosenberg, Hotel
Drouot, Paris, 3rd-4th May 1932, was with Galerie Kugel (`Antiquomania’, A. Kugel, Paris, 2010, cat. 7).
The Temple of Isis and the Tripod and its influence on designers:
The Temple of Isis was a Roman temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis. This small and almost intact temple
was among one of the first discoveries during the excavation of Pompeii in 1764. Its role as a Hellenized Egyptian
temple in a Roman colony was fully confirmed with an inscription detailed by Francisco la Vega on July 20, 1765.
There is an engraving of the tripod from the Temple of Isis, Pompeii by Giovanni Battista Piranesi in 1779. This type of
tripod was also popularised by an engraving in C. Percier and P. Fontaine’s, Receuil de Décorations Intérieures of
1801. Furthermore, there is also a watercolour now in the Musée Carnavalet, Paris, illustrated by D. Irwin,
Neoclassicism, London, 1997, fig. 211, showing this type of tripod displayed at the 1801 Exposition des Produits de
L’Industrie in the Louvre.
The Manfredini brothers and the Eugenia Manufactory in Milan:
The Manfredini were three brothers: Francesco (d. 1810), Luigi (1771-1840) and Antonio, originating from Bologna,
who specialised in the production of elaborate furniture in gilt-bronze after designs by the most outstanding designers
and ornamentalists of the period. They moved to Milan from Bologna in 1798 and Luigi worked in the Mint becoming
head engraver in 1808 and he made a number of medals for the Emperor and established a reputation as the leading
Italian medallist in the first half of the 19th century. According to B. Gallizia di Vergano, op. cit., he studied at the
Accademia Clementina, Bologna, under the sculptor De Maria. As engraver for the Regia Zecca in Milan beginning in
1798, Luigi joined his brother in Paris in 1804, and Francesco established a workshop known as the `"Bigiottiere"
d'Indoratura dei metalli e d'orlogeria" around 1803-1804. This was due in the main to a grant he received to specialize
in the production of jewels and the manufacturing of enamels and clockcases amongst other things.
In 1806-7, Francesco Manfredini established, with his brothers Antonio and Luigi, the Manufacture Royale de Bronze
de Fontana - the Fontana foundry - on the site of a former convent near the Porta Cosima, Milan. This was under the
protection of the Viceroy, Eugène de Beauharnais. Here they produced bronze busts of Napoleon and reductions of
sculptures by Canova as well as decorative pieces including tripods and surtouts de tables and Luigi Manfredini was
in charge of the foundry. He was the most influential of the three brothers and was appointed Professor dell’Arte della
Medaglia at the Brera Accademia di Belle Arte, Milan, in 1801.
The eldest brother Francesco Manfredini(d. 1810) who worked in the workshop making gilt-bronze, clocks and jewels
was active in Paris between 1803 and 1804, where he had his own workshop. During this period he was known to
have taken trips to London and in 1803, Francesco was in London to perfect his knowledge in the field of
watchmaking as instructed by Francesco Melzi, and also to study the machinery at Boulton & Watt to mint coins.
Francesco's work was mostly appreciated by the French and Italian aristocracy. The third brother, Antonio, followed
the same path thanks to the patronage of Eugene de Beauharnais (1781-1824), stepson of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Antonio went to Paris to promote Italian manufacturing and crafts abroad. Eugène de Beauharnais believed that by
manufacturing jewels, enamels, and clocks Antonio could improve Italian craftsmanship. These grants for the arts
encouraged the opening of the Eugenia Manufactory in Milan, a place where Francesco would return to become the
official clockmaker for the King. In 1808, the manufactury started production and some works were selected for an
exhibition, ‘degli oggetti d’arti e mestieri’ at the Academy of Brera, including a table clock adorned with statues and
gilt-bronze frieze representing the Aurora of Guido Reni which was awarded a prize.
Before 1810, candelabra, vases and clocks were mostly produced by the Manufactory for Palazzo Reale in Milan.
Between 1810 and 1814, the three brothers produced a clock signed ‘Manfredini del Re Milano,’ which
represents the Huntress Diana on her chariot, now in Milan at the Palazzo Isimbardi. It is conceivable that Francesco
acquired some clock cases during his time spent in France and brought them to Milan. Some of the Manfredini output
illustrates a technique similar to celebrated French bronziers such as Claude Galle (1759-1815) and Pierre-Philippe
Thomire (1751-1843).
On June 16th, 1810, Francesco died and Luigi and Antonio inherited the manfactory. They also rediscovered the
process of sand casting to a large extent, which can be seen in the decoration of equestrian statues of the Arco della
pace del Sempione in Milan.
In 1823, Giovan Battista Viscardi (1791-1859) became partner in the manufactory by marrying Costanza, the daughter
of Francesco Manfredini. He had worked in manufacturing since 1807. In 1822, the manufactory began to be called ‘
Luigi Manfredini and Company’ until 1858. During the years 1822/1823 until 1838, the commissions for small works
remained high, however, simultaneously, a variety pieces were commissioned by aristocrats. Furthermore, Giovanni
Francesco gave a commission for the decoration of the family Chapel in Bellagio, after a design by Giocondo Albertolli
(1742-1839) and it was during these years that the collaboration between Luigi Manfredini and the Bolonese architect
Pelagio Palagi (1775-1860) began.
In 1840, Luigi Manfredini died. Viscardi took over the commissions started by Manfredini: two figures in bronze of
Castor and Pollux after a design by Abondio Sangiorgio at the Palazzo Reale in Turin and the satyrs seen on the
fountain in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Giovan Battista Viscardi maintained the manufactory until 1853. The
works commissioned by royal and aristocratic patrons perfectly illustrate the ‘Manfredini style,’ which was a style
characterized by the use of classical motifs from drawings by Palagi and Moglia, as well as a technique similar to the
celebrated French bronziers such as Thomire and Galle.
Eugène de Beauharnais (1781-1824):
Eugène de Beauharnais was the only son of Vicomte Alexandre de Beauharnais (1760-96) and his wife Josephine
(1763-1814). The Vicomte was guillotined in 1794 but his wife and children were released. In 1796 Josephine de
Beauharnais married Napoleon Bonaparte and, in 1804, became Empress of France when her husband assumed the
crown. Their marriage was childless and Napoleon adopted his stepson, Eugène, with the idea of declaring him his
heir. He was raised to the rank of Imperial Highness and styled Prince Eugène Napoleon of France. In 1810,
Napoleon and Josephine were divorced, Napoleon married Maria-Louisa of Austria and a male heir was born in 1811,
thus eradicating Eugène's chance of ever inheriting the French throne.
In 1805, Eugène married the daughter of the King of Bavaria and was made a Chancellor of State of the French
Empire and later Viceroy of Italy and Commander-in-chief of the Imperial Army in Italy. In 1810, he was offered the
throne of either Sweden, Poland or Greece, but chose to stay on as Viceroy of Italy, later accompanying his former
step-father on his ill-fated invasion of Russia. After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, Eugène returned to his father- in-
law's kingdom of Bavaria where he was created Duke of Leuchtenberg and Prince of Eichstaff. He died prematurely in
Prince Eugène's son, Maximillian, Duke of Leuchtenberg, was invited by Czar Nicholas I to settle with his unmarried
sisters in St. Petersburg and was given a place to live, re-named the Leuchtenberg Palace. He married Czar
Nicholas's daughter Maria Nicholaevna.
Fig. 1

Prince Eugène De Beauharnais (1781-1824) David, Jacques Louis

(1748-1825) © The Bridgeman Art Library

Fig. 2

Roman, Tripod, Museo Nazionale, Naples

Fig. 3

Tripod By Luigi Antonio Manfredini, 1811 Kunsthistoriches Museum,


Fig. 4

Tripod, Musée Massena, Nice

Fig. 5

State Bedroom, Pavlosk Palace, St. Petersburg

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 47
of bandeau form with flared neck and foot, the front painted after Shepherdess Milking a
Goat (c. 1648) by Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem (Dutch, 1620-1683), signed in Cyrillic lower
left V. Shchetinin and dated 1839, within a frame of ciselé gilt leaf tips, above applied
flourishes forming acanthus anthemia, the sides and back ciselé with an elaborate frieze of
acanthus scrolls and rosettes, the reeded handles with moulded foliate brackets and scroll
terminals, gilt-bronze plinth, the inside of the neck with blue Imperial cypher of Nicholas I
height 71cm, 28in.

ESTIMATE 200,000-300,000 GBP

Purchased by the grandfather of the present owner from a French collection in the mid 1940s
Thence by descent
The three decades of Emperor Nicholas I’s reign are regarded as the peak of porcelain production in Russia. He was
an enthusiastic patron of the Imperial manufactory and was, apart from Catherine the Great, the Russian monarch
most interested in the arts. Foremost among the porcelain wares made during this period are the vases on which the
central panels serve as ‘canvases’ for reproducing two-dimensional works of art. Old Master paintings were favoured,
though contemporary works, both Russian and European, if in keeping with the Emperor’s taste, were also copied.
Paintings were either brought to the factory for copying, or the painter-decorators worked in a room at the Hermitage
specially reserved for the purpose. Such vases were often produced for the Emperor himself, presented at New Year
or Easter, or for a member of the Imperial Family, sometimes as part of a dowry, or as diplomatic gifts to foreigners.
Given the inscribed date of 1839, it is highly possible that the present vase was made for the dowry of Grand Duchess
Maria Nikolaevna (1819-1876), who married Maximilian, Duke of Leuchtenberg on 2 July of that year.
While the present lot is typical in that an Old Master picture is copied, it is somewhat unusual in that it seems to have
been copied from an engraving. The original painting by Berchem (see illustration below) has been in the Louvre
since 1817, having been acquired on the London-Paris art market as part of the collection of Alexis Quatresols de la
Hante (see V. Pomarède, ed., The Louvre: All the Paintings, 2011, p. 358). Berchem was an especially prolific master
of the Dutch Italianate style whose work was in great demand. His popularity continued into the 19th century, and his
paintings were frequently engraved. Shepherdess Milking a Goat was engraved in the 19th century by the German
draughtsman Johann Martin Friedrich Geissler (1778-1853), who is known to have worked in Paris until at least 1814
(see illustration below). The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory had its own extensive collection of prints for use as
sources, despite access to Imperial collections rife with great paintings from which to choose. Working from a
monochromatic engraving, Shchetinin was free to interpret the view with his own palette, rather brighter than
Berchem’s original.
Not a great deal is known about the porcelain painter V. Shchetinin except that he is certainly a member of the well-
known family of painter-decorators employed at the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory which included Ilya, who died in
1864, and Petr, born in 1806. Given these dates and that all three were active in the 1830s and 1840s, it is likely that
V. Shchetinin was a brother of Ilya and Petr. Petr Shchetinin also copied works by Berchem; he reproduced two
Berchem pictures on a pair of vases presented to the Emperor in 1835; today these vases are on display in the Field
Marshal’s Hall at the Winter Palace (illustrated, T. Kudriavtseva, Russian Imperial Porcelain, 2003, p. 161; and N. von
Wolf, ed. V. Znamenov, Imperatorskii farforovyi zavod, 1744-1904, 2008, p. 317). If the Emperor had a predilection
for Berchem’s work – and certainly it is of a style he favoured – it is possible that the present vase was made for him,
if not for his daughter’s dowry; at the least it is likely that he chose the subject to be reproduced on it.
Other known works by V. Shchetinin include two vases at Hillwood Museum, Washington D.C., one painted with
scenes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and a larger vase painted after Henrik van Steenwyck II’s Interior of a Gothic
Church (c. 1604), a painting still in the collection of the Hermitage (see A. Odom, “Paintings on Porcelain Vases at
Hillwood”, Antiques, March 2003, pp. 132-139). A pair of vases, similar in scale to the present lot and currently at
Peterhof Palace, is painted with harbour views, one by V. Shchetinin and the other by his colleague S. Daladugin. A
military plate painted by V. Shchetinin and dated 1830 sold, Sotheby’s New York, 16 April 2007, lot 126, and is similar
to another military plate by him (illustrated, A La Vieille Russie, An Imperial Fascination: Porcelain, 1991, no. 124).

Fig. 1

J.M.F. Geissler, Landscape with a Woman Milking a Goat, Harvard

Art Museums/ Fogg Museum, Gift of Belinda L. Randall from the
collection of John Witt Randall, R8879. Imaging Department ©
President and Fellows of Harvard College
Fig. 2

N. P. Berchem, Bergère trayant une chèvre, Musée du Louvre,

Paris (INV1043) © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre)/ Gérard

Fig. 3

Blue Imperial cypher of Nicholas I

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 48
the ewer, designed by Henri Cameré for Froment-Meurice, inlaid in enamelled gold with
translucent amber-coloured exotic birds, green foliage and husks within dark blue
strapwork, the slender curved crystal handle entwined by a scarlet-enamelled serpent with
lemon belly and ruby eyes, the gold mounts delicately picked out in black enamel with
stylised holly leaves and berries, apparently unmarked, the circular dish on six double-
prong supports, the silver-gilt cagework mounts enamelled with the same holly pattern,
each rock crystal oval and interstice similarly applied and enamelled in blue and green with
swags and vegetal motifs, maker's mark, boar's head control, the rim engraved: Froment-
Meurice, in original brass-bound oak travelling case, the key plate engraved: Froment-
Meurice, 372 rue St-Honoré, lined with claret silk, with matching ruffled protective cushion,
and key
Ewer 27.3 cm, 10 3/4 in high dish 29 cm, 11 1/2 in diameter
ESTIMATE 80,000-100,000 GBP

Said to have been in the possession in 1867 of Antoine d'Orléans, duc de Montpensier (1824-1890), youngest child of
Louis-Philippe, King of the French, and Marie-Amélie de Bourbon-Siciles. In 1846, the Duke, who had previously
pursued a military career, married the 14 year old Louise-Ferdinande, daughter of Ferdinand VII of Spain, and heiress
presumptive of her elder sister Isabella II of Spain. Two years later following the revolution in France, the couple
decided to make their home in Spain where the Duke was first promoted by Queen Isabella to the rank of infante of
Spain in 1858 but shortly after accused of plotting against the throne and banished. The next 20 years were
tempestuous both for Spain and for the Duke’s family but both were finally reconciled in 1878 with the marriage of
Alfonso XII with Mercedes d’Orléans, the Duke’s daughter. The Duke was a long-term patron of both François-Désiré
and his son, Emile Froment-Meurice, premier Parisian jewellers and goldsmiths, this ewer being apparently one of his
earlier purchases from Emile, who with his mother took over the firm following his father's untimely death in 1855. In
fact, according to the biographer Philippe Burty, it was the Duke’s fabulous wedding presents for his bride and her
sister which were the first Froment-Meurice pieces to be seen and much admired in Spain, leading to the firm being
patronised by many aristocratic Spanish families. For a detailed description of the Duke’s patronage, see Fernando A.
Martin’s article, ‘La presence de Froment-Meurice en Espagne’, in the exhibition catalogue, Trésors d'Argent, Les
Froment-Meurice, orfèvres romantiques parisiens, Musée de la Vie Romantique, Paris, 2003, pp. 67-93. A coloured
drawing for the ewer (p. 76) comes from an album of designs, now belonging to the Patrimonio nacional, Madrid,
prepared by Emile Froment-Meurice for the betrothed Mercedes and Alfonso in 1877.

Ewer exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle 1867:
'une délicieuse aiguière, qui appartient à M. le duc de Montpensier, des émaux bleus et verts se déploient en
branches frêles et s'ouvrent en fleurs mignonnes, tandis qu'un gentil serpent émaillé s'enroule sur l'anse du vase'
(Octave Lacroix, 'M. Froment-Meurice', L'Exposition Universelle de 1867 illustrée, vol. II, p. 22)

Jules Mesnard, Les Merveilles de l'Exposition universelle de 1867, Paris, 1867, illustrated p. 7;
Alfred Darcel, ‘L’Emaillerie moderne’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1868/1, pp. 82/3, illustrated;
Emile Froment-Meurice, ‘Les Artistes de l’Industrie VI: Henri Cameré’, Revue des arts décoratifs, Paris, 1895, vol. XV,
pp. 102/3;
Henri Bouilhet, L’Orfèvrerie française aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles, Paris, 1908-1912, vol. 3, p. 40, illustrated;
coloured drawing illustrated in exhibition catalogue, Trésors d'Argent, Les Froment-Meurice, orfèvres romantiques
parisiens, Musée de la Vie Romantique, Paris, 2003, p. 86

Emile Froment-Meurice (1837-1913) was only 18 on the death of his father, the talented and imaginative goldsmith
François-Désiré Froment-Meurice (1802-1855). Luckily his mother was able to call upon the incomparable team of
artists and collaborators assembled by his father, and who had created such celebrated works as the Toilette offered
by the ladies of France to the future Duchesse de Parme on the occasion of her marriage in 1845 and finally
completed in 1851. Emile took control in 1859, but it was not, however, until the Exposition Universelle of 1867 that he
finally came into his own with the creation of magnificent works of art as innovative yet fashionable as those of his
The piece that aroused the greatest enthusiastic interest among commentators was this rock crystal ewer, which was
generally regarded as a tour de force. Whereas we are amazed by the airy beauty of Henri Cameré's neo-
Renaissance design, contemporaries were more struck by its technical virtuosity. Alfred Darcel described the
procedure thus, 'les lacis d'émail qui enveloppe les flancs de l'aiguière ... sont incrustée dans le cristal de roche.
Comme ce produit minéral naturel ne peut supporter l'action du feu sans se briser, il a fallu composer par parties les
divers éléments à surfaces courbes de cette décoration, puis les rapporter une fois fabriqués et les fixer sur les flancs
de l'aiguière destinées à les recevoir, et dissimuler les raccords le plus habilement possible. Tout cela est
supérieurement exécuté ; l'ensemble en est charmant, d'un gout exquis'. Henri Bouilhet also notes the difficulties
overcome by the goldsmiths - 'elles ont été admirablement résolues', adding, 'dans cette pièce, le cristal de roche est
à sa vraie place'.
In all the commentaries and illustrations only the ewer appears, with no mention of a stand. It is frustrating that we
cannot now know whether it was for practicality (more solidity for the larger surface) or for expedience (already ready
and such pieces must have taken months to create) that the duc de Montpensier chose to accompany his gold-
mounted exhibition piece with the silver-mounted stand and yet the two go admirably together and fit perfectly into
their original Froment-Meurice travelling case.

Fig. 1

Bouilhet, L’Orfèvrerie française aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles, Paris,

1908-1912, vol. 3

Fig. 2

Froment-Meurice’s stand at the 1867 Paris Exposition

Treasures, Princely Taste
London | 03 Jul 2013, 05:30 PM | L13303

LOT 49
• gilt brass movement of Lépine-calibre construction signed Daniels, DLR. N-C 1986, Slim
Co-Axial escapement, single going barrel, stainless steel four-arm balance with gold
adjusting weights and free-sprung overcoil balance spring, independent dead-seconds
mechanism consisting of an eight tooth star wheel mounted on the fifth wheel arbour
advancing a sixty tooth ratchet wheel on an arbour carrying the seconds hand, 48 hour
duration bimetallic thermometer below the dial, Daniels three-position keyless winding and
differential screw winding indicator • silver engine-turned dial with eccentric polished gold
chapter ring, Roman numerals, large interlaced gold subsidiary seconds ring, fan-form
sectors for power reserve indication and for thermometer, signed Daniels and London in
two cartouches • polished case with Daniels pendant and bow • case, dial and movement
signed • hallmarked London 1986, case maker's mark GD • with a yellow gold double-link
graduated chain with T-bar
diameter 63 mm
ESTIMATE 300,000-400,000 GBP

Property of the original owners family.

George Daniels Retrospective Exhibition, Exhibit No. 20, Sotheby's London, 18-23 July, 2006.

George Daniels, All in Good Time, Philip Wilson Publishers, 2013, plate 49.
Michael Clerizo, George Daniels A Master Watchmaker & His Art, Thames & Hudson, 2013, p.154-155.

Accompanied by a certificate handwritten and signed by George Daniels and presentation case.
Dr. George Daniels CBE (1926 – 2011) is considered by many to be the greatest watchmaker since Abraham Louis
Breguet. Through his endeavours to save the mechanical watch industry, which was being overwhelmed by the
introduction of the quartz movement, he inspired a new generation of independent watchmakers. Having been born
into a large family and experiencing a difficult home life, Dr. Daniels was to discover a whole new world when he
opened the back of a watch he found when he was just five years old. His single minded enthusiasm for horology took
him from a life of extreme poverty to great wealth and international acclaim.
Dr. Daniels produced only 25 unique mechanical watches in his life time, having laboriously mastered the individual
skills necessary to make almost every component by hand. Not only are his watches admired for their amazing
craftsmanship but also for their additional complications, the most famous being the Space Travellers’ Watch which
includes mean-solar and sidereal time as well as equation of time and chronograph. This iconic watch was sold by
Sotheby’s in the sale of the George Daniels Horological Collection on 6th November 2012 for a world record auction
price of £1,329,250. The entire proceeds of that important auction part funded the George Daniels Educational Trust,
set up on his death to provide post graduate training for watchmakers, engineers and medics.
His ambition to revolutionise the watch industry led to his invention of the Co-Axial escapement. The Co-Axial, which
overcame the problem of the accuracy of a watch being compromised by the deterioration of its lubricant, is the first
noteworthy advance in escapement technology since Thomas Mudge’s lever escapement of 1754.
Dr. Daniels made his first watch in 1969 for his friend and mentor Cecil Clutton. It was with Cecil Clutton’s
encouragement and guidance that he embarked on his career as a specialist watchmaker. Each watch typically
involved 2,500 hours of work and he was very particular about his customers. Daniels himself stated; ‘I never made
watches for people I didn’t care for’.
The present watch, which was called a ‘pocket chronometer’ by George Daniels, was the first to include the Slim Co-
Axial escapement. With its single barrel, fixed Daniels escapement and a mechanism whereby the seconds hand
moves in complete seconds, it is of the simplest and most elegant design. It is also one of the few to employ the
stunning combination of gold chapter rings with engine-turned silvered dials.
Andrew Cristford, Introduction to The George Daniels Retrospective Exhibition, Sotheby’s, p.17-18.

Fig. 1

Daniels' diagram for the bridges and wheels of a watch with dead